The Supreme Court on Wednesday stated it will hear the review petitions in the Rafale verdict on March 14. Earlier in the day, the Central Government told the apex court that documents related to the Rafale deal have been stolen from the Defence Ministry.
Appearing before the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, Attorney General K K Venugopal said those who put documents in the public domain are guilty under the Official Secrets Act.
Venugopal said The Hindu newspaper, in publishing articles based on stolen documents, amounted to violation of the Act and an investigation into the theft was on.
The Bench was hearing a batch of petitions seeking a review of its December 14 verdict dismissing all the pleas against the deal. The Bench will hear the review petitions further on 14 March.
Opposing the plea for CBI inquiry into the Rafale deal, Venugopal said, any order to the effect would be damaging to the country.
The Attorney General said the recent incidents have shown how vulnerable is the scenario in which the country was trying to meet its defence requirements.
Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, and advocate Prashant Bhushan had jointly filed a petition. They claimed that the top court had relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover in the court.