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Setback for Modi as Indian SC to review ‘secret’ Rafale deal documents

NEW DELHI: The Indian Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ruled out to review the ‘secret’ Rafale deal documents after rejecting government’s claim of privilege on the newly published Rafale papers.

“We deem it proper to dismiss the Union’s plea,” a three-judge bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said. The court will fix a date for the review hearing later.

The government had alleged that these documents widely published in the media had been purloined or stolen and hence were not to be admitted as evidence in the court proceedings.

The petitioners, who sought a review of the court’s clean chit on the ground of errors of fact, urged the court to examine these documents during the review hearing.

Read more: Rahul Gandhi demands inquiry against Modi in Rafale case

Former French President Francois Hollande, who approved the deal when he was in office, had triggered a political storm in India after he said the Indian government influenced the choice of a local partner in the deal.

New Delhi is denying the allegations, but opposition parties are gunning for Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the 2016 purchase of 36 Rafale planes estimated to be worth $8.7 billion, saying he overpaid for the planes and had not been transparent.

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