Review Judgment Pronouncement

Today, the Bench comprising Chief Justice Gogoi, Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph dismissed the review petitions challenging the Court's 2018 Rafale verdict. Justice S.K. Kaul pronounced the judgment and held that the matter was beyond the scope of judicial scrutiny. The Bench declined to direct the CBI to file an FIR and conduct an investigation of the Rafale deal.

 

Background

On 14 December 2018, the Supreme Court declined to order a court-monitored investigation of the Union's purchase of 36 French Dassault fighter jets. Primarily it held the matters of defence and national security are beyond the scope of judicial review. Subsequently, Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie filed a review petition, praying for the Court to modify its earlier judgment. The review petitioners contended that:

  1. Judgment did not deal with the main prayer of one of the petitioners (Prashant Bhushan): filing of an FIR and CBI led investigation
  2. Judgment relied on a large number of major factual errors
  3. Critical material evidence was suppressed from the Court
  4. Judgment did not consider critical facts submitted by the petitioners

 

Examples of factual errors pointed to by the review petitioners include: (a) the judgment falsely states that, at time of judgment pronouncement, pricing details had already been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), who had audited them, finalised his report and shared them with the Public Accounts Committee; (b) the judgment confuses Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries with Anil Ambani's Reliance Infrastructure.

(detailed summary to follow, once judgment is published).