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Rafale controversy: Here's what experts have to say

Updated : January 02, 2019 08:49 PM IST

Former union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with advocate Prashant Bhushan approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking review of its December 14 judgement, which dismissed all PILs alleging irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France.

The apex court had relied upon "patently incorrect" claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover in the court, they alleged in their review plea. They said that they were not given an opportunity to be heard on the claims made by the government in the note "resulting in gross miscarriage of justice".

Congress president Rahul Gandhi used a purported audio clip to allege that Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar is "blackmailing" Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a file on the Rs 58,000 crore jet deal "lying in his bedroom".

Citing an audio clip of a conversation purportedly of Goa minister Vishwajit Rane, Gandhi said he can be heard clearly as saying that Parrikar told his cabinet during a meeting that all documents relating to the Rafale deal were with him. Asserting that the audio was authentic, Gandhi indicated there may be more such tapes and dismissed denials by Parrikar and his minister.

Demanding answers from the prime minister on Parrikar's purported claim, Gandhi asked if this was the reason why a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe was not being ordered. He said the entire country wants Modi to answer these questions.

"The judgment relies on claims made by the government in unsigned notes handed over to the court in a sealed cover. One note was given to us that was unsigned, not on affidavit and other note was given to the court in a sealed cover, again unsigned, not on affidavit. How can the court rely on supposed facts or claims made by the government for which no one is taking responsibility?” said Bhushan, petitioner of Rafale case and Supreme Court lawyer.

On the audio tape controversy, Narendra Taneja, BJP spokesperson said, “Rahul Gandhi has been going on around all over calling chowkidar chor hai without any evidence, any substance and now they he has come out with these tapes and he even said that more tapes are coming. So that means they know where the tapes are being manufactured.”

“In Lok Sabha, the speaker said you can authenticate then talk about them. Gandhi said, no I cannot authenticate and he said that on the floor of parliament,” Taneja added.

Speaking about the allegations on Parrikar and Rane, Kamini Jaiswal, Supreme Court senior lawyer said, “This tape will stand in a court of law because this tape must be sent for analysis."
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