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PMO monitoring Rafale deal can’t be seen as interference, says Centre in new affidavit; SC hearing on Monday
5/4/2019 1:17:30 PM


New Delhi , May 4
In fresh affidavits filed in the Supreme Court, the Centre has stated that the monitoring of Rafale deal by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) cannot be seen as interference in any way, news agency ANI reported on Saturday.

The Centre, in its affidavit stated that the Supreme Court’s December 14, 2018, “judgment upholding the 36 Rafale jets deal was correct” and also said that “unsubstantiated media reports and/or part internal file notings deliberately projected in a selective manner cannot form basis for review”, ANI reported.

In its affidavit, the Centre stated: “Monitoring of progress by PMO of this Government to Government process cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations.”

In its affidavit, the Centre also stated that the “then Hon’ble Raksha Mantri had recorded on file that …’it appears that PMO and French President’s office are monitoring the progress of the issues which was an outcome of the summit meeting’.”

Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to respond to the Rafale review petition by Saturday, refusing to give it an extension of the four weeks that it had asked for.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, while hearing the petition on April 30, had refused to allow the Centre’s plea that it be granted four weeks to file its responses.

The SC had earlier rejected the government’s counter on the admissibility of some documents used by petitioners. The petitioners are seeking a review of the top court’s verdict last December rejecting a court-ordered probe into the deal to buy Rafale fighter jets.

The SC judgment had rejected the argument that the documents should not be considered during the hearing because these were sensitive in nature and had been obtained through “unauthorised photocopying and leakage”.

Former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan have filed a petition seeking review of the December 14, 2018 verdict of the apex court giving clean chit to the Rafale deal.

Besides the trio, AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has also filed a separate review petition in the case.
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