Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan Friday requested the Supreme Court to set aside its earlier verdict that dismissed their petition for criminal investigation into the Rafale fighter jet deal case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi reserved verdict on a batch of petitions seeking review of its December 14 judgment last year, which had dismissed the pleas challenging India's deal with France to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, during the two-hour hearing, referred to various aspects including alleged suppression of material facts from the court and said that a complaint should have been filed and criminal investigation launched into the case. He also referred to the documents relating to alleged parallel negotiations undertaken by the PMO and said that three members of the Indian Negotiation Team had objected to it.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, objected to the review petition and said the basic grounds for seeking review of the verdict are the same as they were in the main petition.
Mr Venugopal also referred to the secrecy clause of the inter-governmental agreement between India and France and said that this matter pertains to defence deals and not to the award of contract for construction of flyover or dams.
In a rejoinder affidavit filed in the top court, the three petitioners had said that the December 14 verdict in the Rafale case should be reviewed as the judgement was obtained through "multiple falsehoods and suppression of material and relevant information".
"It is clear that the government misled the court on various counts, in the notes that were submitted in a sealed cover. It has also suppressed material and relevant information from the court," they had said in their affidavit.
The rejoinder affidavit was filed by them in response to the reply filed by the Centre last week, in which it said that "categorical and emphatic" findings recorded by the top court in its December verdict have no apparent error warranting the review.
The Centre had said that the petitioners were relying on some press reports and incomplete internal file notings, procured illegally and cannot seek to re-open the whole matter since scope of review petition is "extremely limited".