Let them put their house in order first says SC to plea seeking CBI probe into Rafale
New Delhi, Oct 31: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to appraise it about the details, price and cost of the Rafale jets. The direction was issued by the Court despite the Centre raising objections to the same.
During the course of the hearing, advocate and petitioner, Prashant Bhushan sought for a CBI probe into the matter. The court was quick to shoot back and while pointing towards the rift within the agency said, " let the CBI put its house in order first."
Bhushan then went on to suggest that the CBI probe could be a court monitored one. To this, the SC said, ' that can wait.'
Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Singh through his lawyer said that the government must come up with the price of the jets. The CJI asked him, " do you know the price." When the advocate said that he did, the CJI said,' you keep it to yourself and you are one of the fortunates, who knows the price.'
The court then sought what is Singh's interest in this case. There are so many petitioners already and he wants an SIT probe and Bhushan on the other a probe by the CBI.
Advocate M L Sharma then stepped in and told the court to take the matter up after the elections. CJI asked, " which elections. The business of this court cannot be stopped for elections." Sharma said the assembly elections. The CJI asked, " how are we concerned. First decide what elections you had in mind."
Other developments in SC:
- The Supreme Court has asked the centre to give it copies of the decision making process details without any strategic or secret details to the petitioners and the parties who have filed the PILs.
- Attorney General K K Venugopal said that most details about the Rafale jets, including its pricing would be covered under the official secrets act and it would not be possible for the government to share it with anyone.
- If you cannot share it in a sealed cover, then file an affidavit to that effect, the Bench said.
- The Bench said no petitioner has questioned the suitability of the Rafale jets and its utility for the Indian Air Force. The only question is about the bona code in making the decision about the jets.
- The Centre must bring in public domain the details of the decision making process for the purchase of 38 jets from Dassault through the inter-governmental agreement between India and France. This can be done without bringing out the strategic inputs of the purchase, the bench also said.
- As the AG was set to raise objection, the court said that the Centre that it would like to be appraised of the details of the price and cost of the jets and the advantages of the deals which should be submitted in court in 10 days. Next date of hearing November 12.