Rafale deal documents were stolen from the defense ministry
The government of India on Wednesday has disclosed to the Supreme Court that the documents pertaining to the Rafale deal were stolen from the defense ministry. The Apex Court has also begun hearing petitioners seeking a review of its verdict dismissing all pleas against the purchase of the jets relied upon those documents.
A warning was also issued to 'The Hindu' Newspaper by attorney-general K.K. Venugopal on grounds that placing a confidential matter like Rafale Deal documents on the public domain is a punishable offense under Official Secrets Act. He also informed that the investigation on the theft will soon begin. “Article written by Senior Journalist N Ram in The Hindu was based on documents stolen from the Defence Ministry. The Hindu had committed an offense under the Official Secrets Act by publishing details from such confidential documents, It is contempt of court,” said the attorney-general.
In December 2018, the top court had dispersed the need for a CBI inquiry into the India-France fighter jet deal. Venugopal also claimed that seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the Rafale deal would do damage to the country. In February, The Hindu published multiple revelations about the deal that was unfavorable towards the government. The reports were based on government documents accessed by the newspaper.
Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, the Former Union ministers and advocate Prashant Bhushan jointly filed the petition against the Centre that it is trying to suppress crucial facts from the apex court. Next hearing in the case has been adjourned to March 14th.