A three judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K M Joseph today unanimously ruled as admissible the ‘secret’ documents, containing file notes of the Defence Ministry, that had been annexed to the review petition that was filed in the case relating to the purchase of the Rafale aircraft.
The Central Government had raised preliminary objections with regard to the admissibility of the secret documents, including a claim of privilege under Section 123 of the Evidence Act.
Justice K M Joseph has written a separate judgment that concurs with the conclusion reached by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
This means that these documents will be treated like any other document for admission and the court will have the power to look into them. The review petition will now be heard on merits.
Attorney General K K Venugopal had said that the petitioners could not have relied on the file notes of the Defence Ministry as they were privileged documents. Even the court could not look at them, he claimed.
The Supreme Court will now fix a date for hearing the review petitions, filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha.
Read the Judgment.