Rafale deal: Documents filed by review petitioners sensitive to national security, government tells SC
The government said the review plea filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie has been widely circulated and is available to the country's enemy and adversaries.
NEW DELHI: A day before hearing the review petitions challenging the Rafale case, Ministry of Defence on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court and said documents filed by the petitioners seeking review of the verdict are “sensitive to national security” and those who conspired in photocopying the papers have committed theft and put the security in jeopardy by leaking them.
Filing the affidavit, Sanjay Mitra, Defence Secretary said, “The documents attached by the petitioners are sensitive to national security which relates to war capacity of combat aircraft. Since the review petition has been widely circulated and is available to the enemy... ”In the affidavit, the government sought the dismissal of the review plea filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist-advocate Prashant Bhushan.The case is scheduled to be heard on Thursday.
“Without consent, permission or acquiescence of the Central Government, those who have conspired in making the photocopy of these sensitive documents and annexing it to the review petition/ miscellaneous application and thereby committing theft by unauthorised photocopying of such documents relied in this regard... have adversely affected the Sovereignty, Security and Friendly Relations with the foreign countries,” said the affidavit.
Last week, the case was adjourned after the government claimed that certain documents pertaining to the deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry. After a political row over the same, Attorney General K K Venugopal altered his stand. Venugopal had told the bench that the petitioners used photocopies of the original papers, protected under the Official Secrets Act.
The Defence Ministry said an enquiry started on February 28 over the leakage of sensitive documents and it is of “utmost concern” to find out where the leakage took place. The documents relate to war capacity of combat aircraft and are available to the country’s enemy