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Rafale documents stolen, says Centre to court

March 7, 2019

The Central government told the Supreme Court of India (SC) that documents related to purchase of Rafale jets were stolen from the Defence Ministry. It also alleged that The Hindu committed a crime by publishing details of the documents in media. This is a crime that comes under Official Secrets Act.

Reportedly, the media firm published confidential documents about the deal. SC was hearing petitions seeking a review of its verdict dismissing the need for an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). SC questioned the centre asking what steps they took after theft of the documents.

In hearing of #Rafale Review& appln for perjury against officials who gave false info to SC, AG said, Docs filed by us in perjury appln are 'stolen' from Def Min & hence can't be looked into by court. So first govt misleads SC & then asks it not to look at Docs which expose lies!-Prashant Bhushan, Public Interest Lawyer and Activist

The central government also claimed that they need Rafale jets to defend India from Pakistan's F-16 jets that recently tried to cross borders to enter India and bomb places. The Attorney General who represented the centre said that the country needs Rafale jets at the earliest. India is expected to get a new batch of jets very soon and 52 pilots will be sent to France for training.

"By saying #Rafale documents 'stolen' from defence ministry the Attorney General has just officially validated the reporting of @nramind", tweeted Journalist Barkha Dutt.

"How did the crucial Rafale files go missing? Govt tells the SC: MoD documents on Rafale have been STOLEN and that probe on stolen files are going on. This is HUGE!!", tweeted Journalist Marya Shakil.

The case will be heard again on 14 March.

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