In a setback to the centre, the Supreme Court Wednesday allowed the plea relying on leaked documents for seeking review of its Rafale judgement and dismissed the government's preliminary objections claiming "privilege" over them.
The centre had submitted that the three privilege documents were unauthorisedly removed from the defence ministry and used by the petitioners to support their review petitions against the December 14, 2018 judgement of the apex court which dismissed all pleas challenging the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
A three-judge bench delivered two separate but unanimous verdicts rejecting the objections raised by the centre that those documents were not admissible as evidence under Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act, and no one can produce them in court without the permission of the department concerned as those documents are also protected under the Official Secrets Act.
The Centre also failed to impress the bench, comprising chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, that the disclosure of those documents was exempted under the Right to Information Act as per Section 8(1)(a) and those who conspired in photocopying the papers committed theft and put national security in jeopardy.
To discuss this issue, CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan is joined by N Ram from The Hindu and Vaibhav Agarwal from BJP.