New Delhi: A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph will pronounce the verdict of the Rafale case, which was one of the contentious debates ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
In September, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh went to France for the hand over of the first Rafale jet for the Indian Air Force. However, there are a few review petitions in front of the apex court.
In December 2018. the Supreme Court had given a clean chit to the Modi government by dismissing please seeking a court-monitored probe into the controversial Rafale deal — a Rs 59,000 crore deal signed between India and France to purchase 36 Rafale jets from Dassault. It was signed by PM Modi during his first term in office.
It was later alleged that India overpaid for the jets or the government broke protocol to benefit Anil Ambani’s Reliance group, which was Dassault’s Indian partner.
The review pleas which led to today’s hearing were filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan and former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie among others.
There is, however, an offshoot of the case.
A contempt plea was filed against Rahul Gandhi for his Chowkidar Chor Hai jibe related to the Rafale scam.
When the Supreme Court agrees to review its December verdict based on the review petitions, then-Congress chief Rahul Gandhi claimed a moral victory and being buoyed by that, he said: “The Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidarji has committed a theft” in Amethi. BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi filed a case of contempt of court against Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi expressed regret for “incorrectly” attributing his jibe to the Supreme Court. The Court, however, was not happy with the apology. “If you have made a mistake admit it. What is the meaning of the expression of regret withing brackets,” the bench had said.