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Rafale case HIGHLIGHTS | Defence deals can’t be judicially examined: Centre to SC

The Supreme Court is hearing the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute and also a petition seeking a review of it earlier judgement in the Rafale purchase matter.

By HT Correspondent | Mar 06, 2019 22:11 IST

The Supreme Court is hearing the decades-old Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute case on Wednesday, days after it suggested mediation as a way to resolve the politically sensitive issue.

The apex court will also begin hearing a petition seeking a review of its December 14, 2018, judgment in the Rafale jet purchase matter in the open court. At the same time, it will also take up the government’s application seeking certain corrections in the December 14 order.

Here are the highlights:

3:52pm IST

SC adjourns hearing in Rafale case to March 14

Hearing into the Rafale deal adjourned to March 14 by the Supreme Court bench .

3:42pm IST

CJI responds to Prashant Bhushan

Chief Justice Gogoi responds to Prashant Bhushan, “If we accept attorney general’s arguments, we will not look into the documents relied on by you and we will reject it. Or we will look into the papers and see how they are relevant and decide the case.”

3:38pm IST

Prashant Bhushan defends document which the AG called ‘stolen’

Petitioner Prashant Bhushan defends the use of the documents that the Attorney General called ‘stolen’; cites the case where a whistleblower gave him a diary entry of ex-CBI director Ranjit Sinha and the court didn’t ask for the source and proceeded in the matter on the basis of the diary.

3:30pm IST

Govt will produce original of documents published by Hindu tomorrow: AG

AG Venugopal says the government will produce the original copy of the documents published by the Hindu newspaper and relied on by the petitioners in the court tomorrow. Also details of the action taken by government on the stolen document will be given tomorrow, adds AG.

3:22pm IST

‘Every statement by court will be used to destabilise govt or oppn’: AG

Attorney General tells SC, “ Every statement by this Court will be used to destabilise either the government or the opposition. Why should the court become a party to such an exercise? This is why I am appealing to this Court to exercise restraint. Defence procurements can’t be judicially examined.”

3:19pm IST

‘No FIR yet into theft of documents related to Rafale deal’: AG

AG tells SC, “ FIR has not been registered so far into the theft of documents pertaining to Rafale deal”: PTI 

3:10pm IST

‘Should the court not look into evidence if there is corruption’:CJI

News agency ANI quoted Chief Justice Gogoi as saying, “Primary question is that should the court not look into the evidence or the document, if there is relevance or corruption?” AG Venugopal says, “It should not be looked into as it deals with defence and secrets.”: ANI

3:09pm IST

AG tells SC source of document should be disclosed

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court that the source of the document should be disclosed to the court by those who published it: ANI

3:07pm IST

First squadron of Rafale jets to be delivered in September this year: AG

Attorney General Venugopal tells SC, two squadrons of Rafale fighter jets are coming in flyaway condition; first one will be in September this year, reports PTI.

3:00pm IST

Rafale fighter jets are needed: AG to Supreme Court

Rafale fighter jets are needed although MiG 21 of 1960s performed beautifully against F-16, AG tells SC : PTI .

2:48pm IST

‘Some F-16s came and bombed us. What can we do’? AG

Attorney General Venugopal says , “Some F-16s came and bombed us , what are we to do ? Can’t we enter a deal to buy planes?”

2:38pm IST

AG cites recent Indo-Pak tension to justify Rafale purchase

AG raises the recent tension between India and Pakistan to justify the purchase of Rafale jet, says we are trying to protect the security of the country.

2:30pm IST

If CBI probe ordered now, huge damage will be done: AG to SC

Attorney General KK Venugopal said that if a CBI investigation is directed now, huge damage will be done to the country : ANI

2:25pm IST

SC objects to statements by AAP MP Sanjay Singh

SC objects to certain statements made by AAP MP Sanjay Singh - also a petitioner in the case- about the apex court . CJI Gogoi says, “We have with us certain statements made by him in connection with the Rafale and CBI case which are very derogatory”; won’t hear his review petition.

2:20pm IST

Hearing resumes in Rafale case after break

SC bench reassmbles, hearing resumes in Rafale case

1:05pm IST

Hearing in Rafale case to resume at 2pm

Supreme Court rises for lunch, hearing in Rafale case to resume at 2 pm.

12: 59pm IST

Scrutiny will affect future purchases: AG

Attorney General says recent incident has shown how sensitive it is so far as defence purchases are concerned. He says such a scrutiny will affect future purchases. Countries would be hesitant before entering (into a deal with India). They would say we would have to pass hurdles of parliament and TV channels and finally the court. He says prosecution would be launched against the two papers and the lawyer who has annexed it with the petition

12:57pm IST

Notes annexed in review petition privileged, can’t be taken note of: AG

AG says the notes published in a newspaper and annexed in the review petition are privileged and cannot be taken note of. He says we are dealing with defence purchases that involve security of the state

12:50pm IST

Documents relied upon by Bhushan stolen: Govt

Government takes preliminary objection to Bhushan’s review petitions, says the documents relied upon by him and others were stolen from the ministry by present or former employees. Attorney general KK Venugopal says an investigation has been ordered into the stolen papers. AG has to inform the court the progress made in the probe at 2 pm

12:47pm IST

Won’t look into affidavits not filed before it: SC

Supreme Court says it won’t look into any supplementary affidavits or other documents not filed before it : PTI

12:45pm IST

CJI refuses to accept fresh affidavit by Prashant Bhushan

Chief Justice Gogoi refuses to accept any fresh affidavit by advocate Prashant Bhushan.

12:40pm IST

SC begins hearing petition to review its order on Rafale deal

SC begins hearing petition seeking a review of its December 14, 2018, judgment in the Rafale jet purchase matter.

12:07pm IST

In case of mediation, parties can suggest names: CJI

In the event court orders for mediation, Chief Justice Gogoi says the parties can suggest names of mediators. Names to be given during the course of the day

12:05pm IST

SC reserves order on mediation

Supreme Court reserves verdict on whether the Ayodhya matter should be referred for mediation.

12:05pm IST

UP opposes mediation

Uttar Pradesh opposes mediation, says it’s for the court to decide on the legality of whether mediation can bre ordered or not. Says mediation can be ordered when it appears to court there exists an element of a settlement.. considering the facts of the case, the nature of dispute and possible fallout not be advisable or prudent to undertake this path”

12:02pm IST

‘You’re assuming this is a point of view that can’t be put forth in mediation’

Justice Bobde says: “You are assuming this is a point of view that can’t be put forth in mediation. You can always put forth this”

12noon IST

‘Janma sthan is a matter of faith and belief’: Lawyer for Ram Lalla

Submissions by senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan for the deity : “Statement has already been recorded that Ayodhya is Ram janmabhoomi but which is the janma sthan is a matter of faith and belief..this is a matter that is non-negotiable .. nobody can possibly agree to some other place being the janmabhoomi.. the only thing is to find an alternative place for a mosque; With regard to the temple coming up ..nobody can possibly agree to another place.”

11:45am IST

We are open to mediation: Rajeev Dhawan, lawyer of Muslim parties

Rajeev Dhawan, lawyer for Muslim parties, says it has to bind everybody otherwise court would be ignoring the fact there is a procedure under the law. He says sentiments need not be gone into by the court. Sentiments will always be there for communities .. Sabarimala had sentiment .. there will always be some angst .. why is the court talking about angst otherwise what’s the purpose of procedure.. we are open to mediation”

11;42am IST

Purpose of mediation is eventual compromise: Justice Chandrachud

Justice DY Chandrachud also says that the purpose of mediation is eventually there shall be a compromise .. effectively dispose of the dispute ; once suit assumes a representative character .. there can’t be any compromise to the suit.

11:30am IST

Can a dispute of this nature be mediated?: Justice Chandrachud

Justice DY Chandrachud asks Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for Muslim parties, whether a dispute of this nature which is not just between two people but is a wider dispute between two communities, can be mediated? He says even if we go through mediation, whether it would be possible to bind millions of people to the outcome of mediation.

11:28am IST

There can be a panel of mediators: Justice Bobde

Justice SA Bobde says, “There need not be one mediator but a panel of mediators.”: ANI

11: 24am IST

‘We also know history’: Justice Bobde

“We also know history.. we are trying to tell you we have no control over what happened in the past . Over Babar invading or who demolished .... no one can undo that ..we can only undo what exists before us in the present moment and that is the dispute:”: Justice Bobde

11:22am IST

‘Case about hearts and minds and healing’: Justice Bobde

Justice SA Bobde told the Hindu Mahasabha lawyer : “We are conscious of the politics of this country it’s going to have an impact on . It’s about minds, hearts and healing if possible and we do not really understand how it is being rejected even before it is attempted.”

11:20am IST

Justice Bobde snubs Hindu Mahasabha lawyer

Justice SA Bobde snubs the lawyer for Hindu Mahasabha, says, “Are you not pre -judging the whole thing.. are you not saying it’s a failure even before it’s attempted. We think that is not fair .. when the court is ordering a mediation we are not yet assuming somebody will give up something .. we think it’s not primarily a dispute over the 1500 yards of land. This is about sentiment or faith.. do not think we are not conscious of it or do you think you have more faith than us.”

11:17am IST

Hindus not ready for mediation: Hindu Mahasabha

Hindu Mahasabha’s argument: Hindus are not ready for any mediation.. it’s a deity property and nobody has the right to mediate . For us it’s a sentimental issue.. do not refer the matter to mediation.. we are waiting for outcome of result since 1950.

11:12am IST

SC begins hearing Ayodhya title dispute case

SC bench begins hearing in the Ayodhya title dispute case. A five judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi is hearing the case.

11:05am IST

SC to hear petition seeking review of its order on Rafale deal

The Supreme Court is also hearing today a petition seeking a review of its December 14, 2018, judgment in the Rafale jet purchase matter in the open court. At the same time, it will also take up the government’s application seeking certain corrections in the December 14 order.

10:55am IST

Five judge bench of SC to hear Ayodhya case

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, and comprising justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, will hear the Ayodhya title dispute case.

10:25am IST

14 cases pending before SC since 2010 in Ayodhya dispute

There are fourteen appeals pending before the top court against the 2010 Allahabad high court judgment trifurcating the disputed site at Ayodhya for Ram Lalla, Nirmohi Akhara, and the original Muslim litigant.

10:12am IST

SC to decide on appointing a mediator in Ayodhya case today

The SC had fixed March 6 as the date for passing its order on whether to appoint a mediator and gave eight weeks’ time for verification of the translation of the documents, translations and records in the case.

10:00am IST

Difference of opinion over mediation process in Ayodhya case

The Nirmohi Akhada and many of the Muslim litigants agreed to the mediation process. However, the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (RJN) and a Muslim litigant Iqbal Ansari opposed the proposal, saying such efforts have failed in the past.