Rafale Verdict: Order was pronounced by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Krishan Kaul, KM Joseph.
The Supreme Court has dismissed preliminary objections by the government to consider documents "stolen" from the defence ministry as evidence in the Rafale fighter jet case. It says it will fix the date for hearing review petitions on Rafale deal case.
The Rafale Deal order was pronounced by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Krishan Kaul and KM Joseph. Petitioners Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie want the top court to examine articles published in The Hindu and order a CBI probe into the matter, but the Centre has opposed it on the grounds that the documents were photocopied without due permission.
Here are the LIVE updates from Supreme Court Verdict on Rafale Deal Case:
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Rafale Deal verdict:
CPI National Secretary, Atul Kumar Anjaan, says the Supreme Court decision has completely "exposed" the PM Modi government.
"The Modi government has been exposed layer by layer in the Rafale scam. The SC has rejected the claims made by the Centre that the documents related to the deal had been stolen. Now, it is clear that the Modi government has done some scam in the Rafale deal," he says.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi says: "Supreme Court has accepted that there is some form of corruption in Rafale deal and that the 'chowkidaar' has looted."
Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala says: "The Supreme Court said today that the "secret" documents on Rafale will be seen in view of its evidential value and not in terms of how it was sourced. By doing so, the Supreme Court has blown the last lid on the government's defence to try and protect the blatant corruption in the Rafale deal."
Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court order, a false perception is created that it is big setback to the government, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tells news agency ANI. "Only issue was whether the objection of government related to privilege and unauthorised way. The court has only stated that we should consider these documents."
Aam Aadmi Party tweets: "Supreme Court to review the judgement on #RafaleDeal. The Chowkidar is being watched!"
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati says: "PM Modi's efforts to hide massive problems and corruption under the Rafale scheme in the name of national security have failed. The BJP government has been cornered in the Supreme Court. For his continuous lies inside and outside the Parliament to mislead the nation, PM Modi should apologise and the defence minister should resign.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal says: "PM Modi was telling everybody that he received a clean chit from the Supreme Court in Rafale deal case. Today's Supreme Court decision proved that PM Modi has stolen under the Rafale scheme, has cheated the country's army, and misled the Supreme Court to hide his crimes."
Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Twitter says: "Modi Govt tried its best to suppress the truth of the #RafaleDeal including misleading the Supreme Court and then claimed the Court has provided a clean chit. With this ruling, the stage is set for the Truth to come out about this Mega Scam to favour Anil Ambani!"
"This is a victory for India! We welcome the Supreme Court's judgement to review the Rafale petition," says Congress.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweets: "Modi and his govt have compromised national security for corruption and cronyism in an important defence deal. They tried to evade accountability, denied a JPC, hid price from CAG, tried to first mislead, then stall any hearing in Supreme Court. Important that culprits are booked."
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala says: "Modiji, you can run and lie as much as you want, But sooner or later the truth comes out. The skeletons in Rafale Scam are tumbling out one by one. And now there is 'no official secrets act' to hide behind."
Arun Shourie, who filed review plea in Rafale deal verdict, says: Our argument was that because the documents relate to defence, you must examine them. You asked for these evidences and we have provided it. So the Supreme Court has accepted our pleas and rejected the arguments of the government.
The case so far:
Citing internal notes of the defence ministry, a series of reports published by The Hindu said the ministry had objected to "parallel negotiations" for the jets by the Prime Minister's Office. Pointing to the documents, a series of petitions called for a review of the verdict. Last month, the court said concept of confidentiality in documents has undergone a huge change since the Right To Information Act was put in place.
The Centre had told the court that the documents filed by the petitioners are "sensitive to national security", those who conspired in photocopying the papers have committed theft and put national security in jeopardy by leaking them to the public.
Petitioner Prashant Bhushan maintained that "if a document is relevant in deciding a fact, how it was obtained becomes irrelevant". Citing the US verdict on Pentagon papers leak, he said once documents are published, the government can no longer claim privilege.
The order means classified documents sourced by the media without authorisation can be considered evidence and a basis for re-examining its December verdict.
The Centre had submitted that the privilege documents were procured by petitioners in an illegal way and used to support their review petitions against the December 14, 2018 judgement of the apex court dismissing all pleas challenging procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
"We dismiss the preliminary objection raised by Union of India questioning the maintainability of the review petition," a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph says.
We are delighted at unanimous verdict dismissing Centre's argument on admissibility of documents, says petitioner Arun Shourie on Rafale order.
Review petitions against its December 14 verdict dismissing all petitions against procurement of Rafale jets will be decided on merits, says Supreme Court.
The three judges have given a unanimous judgment rejecting the Centre's argument, says journalist-turned-politician Arun Shourie.
Supreme Court allows admissibility of three documents in Rafale deal as evidence in re-examining the review petitions filed against the top court's December 14 judgement refusing to order probe in procuring 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, reports news agency ANI.
Supreme Court to examine the secret documents on Rafale deal. It is a unanimous verdict.
Chief Justice of India dismisses the preliminary objections by the Centre. Top Court dismisses Centre's plea on privileged documents of defence ministry.
Supreme Court says date of hearing of review petitions will be fixed soon. Court says "as far as the question of hearing of review plea on Rafale judgement is concerned, it will give a detailed hearing later on."
Supreme Court dismisses Centre's objections on privileged documents, says date of hearing of review petitions will be fixed soon.