Rafale rebuff

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Rafale rebuff

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Rafale deal
Supreme Court’s decision exposes attempts to de-legitimise investigative journalism
The Supreme Court’s decision to consider(विचार करने) the relevance(प्रस्तुतता/प्रासंगिकता) of the documents published in the media on the Rafale deal is a firm and necessary rebuff to the Central government’s attempts(प्रयास) to prevent(रोकें) judicial examination of these papers and to de-legitimise(वैध करना/न्याय्य करना) all investigative journalism on the subject. The court’s unanimous(सर्वसम्मति ) verdict(फैसला), rendered(प्रस्तुत करना/लौटाना) in two concurring(अवहेलना) orders by a three-judge Bench, means that review(समीक्षा) petitions(याचिकाओं ) filed against(खिलाफ ) earlier orders declining(गिरावट) an investigation(जांच ) into the purchase(खरीद) of Rafale jets will now be taken up on merits and that the petitioners(याचिकाकर्ताओं/प्रार्थक) are free to rely on these documents, regardless(बेपरवाह/लापरवाह) of their provenance(उत्पत्ति/मूल-स्रोत). These documents include those published by The Hindu. A dissenting(असहमति/विरोध करना) note by members of the India Negotiating Team, and notes that disclose(खुलासा ) unease in the Defence Ministry over parallel(समानांतर ) negotiations at the PMO’s instance undermining(दुर्बल करना/नष्ट करना) the official parleys are among them. It would have been a travesty(उपहासात्मक रचना) had the government succeeded in blocking judicial scrutiny(जांच) of these documents, as they disclose significant(महत्वपूर्ण ) details about the decision-making process. The government’s desperate(हताश/मायूस) attempts(प्रयास) to prevent(रोकने ) the court from relying on these papers included a claim(दावा/मांग) of privilege(विशेषाधिकार /सुविधा) under the Evidence(साक्ष्य ) Act, a threat(खतरा) of invoking(विनती करना/आह्वान करना) the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and an accusation(आरोप/अभियोग) that the published documents were “stolen(चोरी )” ones. Later, it toned down the allegation by saying the original documents had not been stolen, and what were published were unauthorised(अनधिकृत/मना हुआ) photocopies. None of these claims impressed the court, which relied on the principle that how a piece of evidence is obtained is immaterial(सारहीन/अमूर्त) , as long as it is relevant to adjudicating(निर्णयन) an issue.

The decision(निर्णय) on the admissibility(प्रवेश ) of the documents has significance beyond the Rafale issue: it revivifies(पूर्वरूप में लाना) the rights of a free press and underscores the principle that it is public interest, and not the content of a document alone, that will decide whether disclosure(खुलासा) is needed or not in a given case. Referring to the publication(प्रकाशन/घोषणा) of the Rafale documents in The Hindu, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi observed that “the right of such publication would seem to be in consonance(सहमति) with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech”. Citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Pentagon Papers, he noted that neither the OSA nor any other law vests any power in the executive(कार्यकारी) to stop publication of documents marked ‘secret’ or the placing of such documents before a court of law which may be called upon to adjudicate a legal issue(कानूनी मुद्दे ). It is premature to conclude, based on this development, that the court’s earlier decision to not order a criminal(आपराधिक ) investigation(जांच) into the purchase of 36 Rafale jets will be revisited(दोबारा/फिर से आना). However, it will certainly(निश्चित रूप से/निस्संदेह) help provide(प्रदान करें) clarity on several aspects(पहलू) of the murky(मज़ाक ) deal. Had the government agreed to a parliamentary probe early on, it would not be suffering the sort of setback it has now faced in the Supreme Court

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1. consider(विचार करने)
Synonyms: acknowledge, contemplate, deal with, examine, favor
Antonyms: disregard, forget, ignore, look away, neglect

2. consider(विचार करने)
Synonyms: acknowledge, contemplate, deal with, examine, favor
Antonyms: disregard, forget, ignore, look away, neglect

3. regardless(बेपरवाह/लापरवाह)
Synonyms: disregarding, behindhand, blind, careless, coarse
Antonyms: attentive, concerned, heedful

4. petitions(याचिकाओं )
Synonyms: application, prayer, request, suit, address

5. unanimous(सर्वसम्मति )
Synonyms: consistent, solid, unified, united, universal
Antonyms: divided, split

6. undermining(दुर्बल करना/नष्ट करना)
Synonyms: subversion, overthrow, wrecking, demolition, destruction

7. dissenting(असहमति/विरोध करना)
Synonyms: balk, contradict, demur, differ, argue
Antonyms: accept, agree, consent, approve, join

8. privilege(विशेषाधिकार /सुविधा
Synonyms: advantage, allowance, authority, authorization, benefit
Antonyms: disadvantage, handicap, hindrance, loss, misfortune, refusal

9. immaterial(सारहीन/अमूर्त) ,
Synonyms: extraneous, inconsequential, meaningless, trivial, unimportant
Antonyms: important, relevant, significantuseful, valuable

10. concurring(अवहेलना)
Synonyms: acquiesce, coincide, jibe, accede, accord
Antonyms: clash, disagree, deny, disallow, disapprove

11. revivifies(पूर्वरूप में लाना)
Synonyms: animate, arouse, awaken, brighten, cheer
Antonyms: agitate, annoy, bore, break, calm

 

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

Supreme Court’s decision exposes attempts to de-legitimise investigative journalism
The Supreme Court’s decision to consider the relevance of the documents published in the media on the Rafale deal is a firm and necessary rebuff to the Central government’s attempts to prevent judicial examination of these papers and to de-legitimise all investigative journalism on the subject. The court’s unanimous verdict, rendered in two concurring orders by a three-judge Bench, means that review petitions filed against earlier orders declining an investigation into the purchase of Rafale jets will now be taken up on merits and that the petitioners are free to rely on these documents, regardless of their provenance. These documents include those published by The Hindu. A dissenting note by members of the India Negotiating Team, and notes that disclose unease in the Defence Ministry over parallel negotiations at the PMO’s instance undermining the official parleys are among them. It would have been a travesty had the government succeeded in blocking judicial scrutiny of these documents, as they disclose significant details about the decision-making process. The government’s desperate attempts to prevent the court from relying on these papers included a claim of privilege under the Evidence Act, a threat of invoking the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and an accusation that the published documents were “stolen” ones. Later, it toned down the allegation by saying the original documents had not been stolen, and what were published were unauthorised photocopies. None of these claims impressed the court, which relied on the principle that how a piece of evidence is obtained is immaterial, as long as it is relevant to adjudicating an issue.

The decision on the admissibility of the documents has significance beyond the Rafale issue: it revivifies the rights of a free press and underscores the principle that it is public interest, and not the content of a document alone, that will decide whether disclosure is needed or not in a given case. Referring to the publication of the Rafale documents in The Hindu, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi observed that “the right of such publication would seem to be in consonance with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech”. Citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Pentagon Papers, he noted that neither the OSA nor any other law vests any power in the executive to stop publication of documents marked ‘secret’ or the placing of such documents before a court of law which may be called upon to adjudicate a legal issue. It is premature to conclude, based on this development, that the court’s earlier decision to not order a criminal investigation into the purchase of 36 Rafale jets will be revisited. However, it will certainly help provide clarity on several aspects of the murky deal. Had the government agreed to a parliamentary probe early on, it would not be suffering the sort of setback it has now faced in the Supreme Court