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SC to hear pleas seeking review of Rafale verdict on Tuesday

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New Delhi, Feb 22: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear two petitions on whether its verdict giving the centre a clean chit on the Rafale jet deal should be reviewed.

The review petition has been filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie as also activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

Rafale

The hearing of the pleas will be conducted in chambers and not in open court.

The trio said the top court had relied upon "patently incorrect" claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover in the court.

Rafale deal: Costlier aircraft and longer delivery period, says Chidambaram on CAG report

In December the court had given a thumbs up to the deal.

A bench led by CJI Gogoi had on December 14 dismissed a bunch of public interest petitions seeking an investigation into the ₹59,000-crore deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was one of the petitioners in the case, mentioned the matter before the CJI who said four applications or petitions had been filed in the Rafale case and one of them is still lying with the Supreme Court registry because it contains a defect that needs to be cured.

The court also observed that it is not its job to go into pricing when the need and quality of aircraft is not in doubt. Further the court also said it did not find anything wrong in the selection of the Indian offset partners by Dassault. All the pleas have been dismissed.

The court also said that no further review is required, while also adding that no probe is required into the pricing aspect or decision making process for the purchase of the aircraft.

The Bench also observed that a country cannot be underprepared. It is not right for a court to sit as an appellant authority and scrutinise all aspects. The perception of individuals cannot be the basis of roving inquiry in sensitive issues such as defence procurements.

The Bench also said that it cannot compel a government to purchase 126 aircraft and it is not proper for the court to examine each aspect of this case. It is not the job of the court to compare pricing details, the Bench also said.

The court said that the personal perception of the people on the deal matters little. However the judiciary has constrained jurisdiction in examining defence deals of this nature especially when adversaries have inducted 4th and 5th generation fighters compared to none by India.

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