New Delhi, March 13: The Centre on Wednesday submitted an affidavit before the Supreme Court, stating that the review petition filed against the top court's December-verdict which ruled out a probe into the Rafale deal, includes secret documents which "jeopardise national security". The affidavit further urges the apex court to dismiss the review plea as it based on "stolen" documents.
The secret documents are part of government's "privilege", the affidavit argued, insisting that the Supreme Court cannot take them into consideration without the Centre's approval. Rafale Deal Documents Not Stolen From Defence Ministry: AG Venugopal Takes U-Turn.
The documents, which gave an insight into the internal deliberations within the Defence Ministry over the Rafale deal, were published by two media publications. Attorney General K Venugopal had reportedly said that they, along with the petitioners, should be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. He, however, dismissed the reports but confirmed that a departmental probe is underway.
Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra told the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi today that those found responsible for leaking the data will be prosecuted under the relevant laws. Mitra claimed that the petitions, whose details have been published by two media outlets, has revealed data related to India's war capacity to "our adversaries". He further added, "This puts the national security in jeopardy."
The review petitions have demanded the Supreme Court to revoke its December-order, and instead direct a judiciary-monitored probe into the Rafale deal with French arms manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
The government has, so far, dismissed the Opposition's demand to conduct an investigation. It has, instead, charged a section of the political spectrum and civil societies of creating obstacles in the procurement of arms.