Rafale: Tell us details of price, cost of jets in 10 days, SC says despite Centre’s objection
New Delhi, Oct 31: The Supreme Court on Wednesday (October 31) asked the government to submit the pricing details of Rafale fighter jets deal with France within 10 days in a sealed envelop.
The apex court also reportedly asked the Union Government to disclose information on Rafale deal which can be legitimately put in public domain. 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.
Petitioner Bhushan sought for a court monitored probe. The court said it could wait.
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.
On October 10, the Supreme Court sought details on the decision making process that resulted in the award of the Rafale Deal. The court decided to seek details while hearing a fresh PIL against the Rafale deal between India and France. The petition sought information about the contract given to Reliance by Dassault.
The top court today (October 31) asked the Centre to furnish information on induction of Indian offset partner to petitioners who have filed PILs.
On October 27, the Union Government submitted the details of decision making process of the Rafale fighter jets purchase deal with France to the Supreme Court. The details were given in a sealed cover as specified by the apex court.
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.