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Rafale Verdict: SC Dismissed Review Petition, Gave Clean Chit to Modi Govt

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SC dismissed the petition related to 36 Rafale fighter jets by the Narendra Modi government. In 2018 the apex court order to give clean chit to Narendra Modi-led government on a plea seeking investigation into alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by India from France.

In 2018 a 3-bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said there was no ground to order an FIR in the matter. CBI investigated the corruption allegations in the purchase of 36 jets from France D assault Aviation at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

The top court had reserved the verdict on the deal in May this year. Former Union ministers, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan had filed the review petitions urging the court to set aside its December 14, 2018, verdict. The court had last year dismissed their plea for a criminal investigation into the Rafale deal.

The Rafale case also limelight during the national elections when then Rahul Gandhi started ‘chowkidar chor hai’ campaign against PM Narendra Modi. This however got him into trouble after he attribute this slogan to the apex court.There they filed a contempt petition against Gandhi.

The bench which has decided to refer the Sabarimala case to the larger bench includes Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justice RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. The judges who expressed disagreement on this decision include Justice Nariman and Justice Chandrachud.

CJI Gogoi has said that the ban on women at religious places is not limited to the Sabarimala temple alone. Along with this, he said that in addition to the Sabarimala case, the big bench will now hear religious matters related to the entry of women in the mosque and circumcision of women.

On 28 September 2018, SC allowed women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple with a 4-1 majority. After that SC prohibited the entry of women between 10 and 50 years into the Sabarimala temple. Regarding this ban, it was argued in the court that there are Brahmachari Devs in the Sabarimala temple and for this reason, there should be ban on the entry of women of the fixed age group.

How case progressed in the Supreme Court
In 2006, a petition was filed in the SC by Indian Young Lawyers Association. In this petition, women between 10 and 50 years of age were also allowed to enter the Sabarimala temple. In the year 2008, this case went to the bench of 3 judges.

In April 2016, the United Democratic Front (UDF) government of Kerala told the SC that this is done to save the faith and tradition of the Sabarimala devotees. On 7 November 2016, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government was formed in Kerala it was in favor of the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple. In the year 2017, the Supreme Court referred this matter to the Constitution Bench. In September 2018, the Supreme Court ruled on the case, against which reconsideration petitions were filed. After listening to all this  a bench of 5 judges of the Supreme Court reserved its decision on this matter on 6 February 2019.