Rafale: SC wants details on decision making, won’t go into suitability of aircraft
New Delhi, Oct 10: The Supreme Court has sought details on the decision making process that resulted in the award of the Rafale Deal.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said they are not on the suitability of the Rafale jets, but only on the decision making process. It further said that the information in this regard would be submitted in a sealed cover. However the court has not issued notice to the Union Government.
The Bench said that it has not taken into account the allegations in the petitions. The court also said that the issue of pricing and suitability of the aircraft will not be covered in detail by it.
The court is hearing a fresh PIL against the Rafale deal between India and France .
The petition sought information about the contract given to Reliance by Dassault.
Advocate M L Sharma's plea, filed earlier, alleging discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and seeking a stay on it will also come up for hearing on October 10.
Sharma claimed in his plea that the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an "outcome of corruption" and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253 (Parliament has power to make any law for implementing any inter-government agreement) of the Constitution.
A similar plea was filed in the Supreme Court in March this year seeking an independent probe into the Rafale deal and disclosure of the cost involved in the deal before Parliament.
The plea, filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla, had sought a direction against the Centre on why the Union Cabinet's approval was not sought as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the procurement deal with France on September 23, 2016. However the plea was withdrawn today.
Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between the governments of India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts in a fly-away condition as a part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment. The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.
Indian Air Force had advanced a proposal to buy 126 fighter aircraft in August 2007 and floated a tender. Following this, an invitation was sent to various aviation companies to participate in the bidding process.