Less than a month after the Supreme Court dismissed a bunch of petitions which sought a probe in the Rafale aircraft deal, former Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday morning filed a review petition requesting the apex court to review and recall its judgement. The trio was one of the multiple petitioners in the case which the SC dismissed through a controversial judgement on December 14.
In its petition, the trio has said that a review of the apex court’s December 14 judgement is being sought as it “is based on errors apparent on the face of the record” and also that “subsequent information has come to light non consideration of which will cause grave miscarriage of justice.” The trio has specifically prayed that the judgement be reviewed, recalled and an oral hearing be granted in open court. This is significant given that the hearings and adjudication in this case involved the use of sealed covers.
The 32 page document lists out “patently false” facts in the SC judgement of December 14 and also emphasises that the court had not adjudicated upon prayers mentioned in the trio’s Writ Petition and instead based its decision upon prayers in other “connected matters”―i:e other petitions which were clubbed with the trio’s petition.
The “patently false facts”, as claimed in the petition, include the following: 1) note on pricing shared by the government with the SC but not the petitioners, 2) mention of a non-existent CAG report in the December 14 judgement, 3) “confusing” the Reliance Industries Limited of Mukesh Ambani with Reliance Infrastructure of Anil Ambani, 4) “Erroneous recording” that Air Force Officers answered questions regarding the decision making process and pricing and 5) it also claims that the judgement erred in not considering that the Reliance Aerostructure Ltd (RAL) was “ineligible to be chosen as an offset partner”.
According to this NDTV report, the SC had stated in its December 14 judgement that, ““We do not find any substantial material on record to show that this is a case of commercial favouritism to any party by the Indian government.” The report also quoted a statement by Anil Ambani who reportedly had said that the ruling “conclusively established the complete falsity of wild, baseless and politically motivated allegations”.