The action of petitioners who wanted a review of the verdict in the Rafale case brought classified documents into public domain, the Centre told the Supreme Court today. It put national security at risk and such unauthorised photocopying of secret documents amounts to theft, the Centre said, targeting The Hindu newspaper over its investigative stories on the purchase of 36 fighter jets from France.
The government has contended that those seeking the review relying on “secret documents”, were violating the Official Secrets Act, for which the punishment is jail or fine.
During the last hearing of the Rafale case, the government had admitted that classified documents were stolen from the “Defence ministry”. After the admission drew opposition attacks, the Attorney General clarified that the documents were not stolen but photocopied from the Defence ministry.