Supreme Court Dismisses PIL; Asks Govt How It Decided to Buy the Rafale Jets

🔵 The Supreme Court while asking the government about the decision making process clarified that it was not seeking information about the pricing of the aircraft

⏩Supreme Court was hearing pleas challenging Rafale deal
⏩The government agreed to provide details of decision-making process
⏩Order only to satisfy that the decision making process was followed: SC

The Supreme Court of India today asked the government to inform it about the decision-making process involved in the now-controversial deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. The Supreme Court made this demand while hearing a few petitions that have challenged the deal.

While asking the government to furnish details about the decision-making process behind the Rafale deal, a Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi-led bench clarified that it was not seeking information about the pricing of the aircraft — a contentious issue that has been brought up by the Congress time and again.

The Rafale deal has run into controversy with the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress alleging that the Narendra Modi government is overpaying for the fighter jet.

The Congress has also alleged that a company owned by Anil Ambani is getting undue benefits out of the agreement by being made the Indian offset partnet of Dassault, the manufacturer of Rafale.

The government has rejected all allegations of corruption or crony capitalism and has said that it cannot reveal certain details about the Rafale deal — such as the price per aircraft — due to secrecy clauses.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, who was representing the government in court, repeated the same argument in the Supreme Court. “It [the purchase of Rafale jets] is a national security matter. Details can’t be given out,” Venugopal told the court.

CJI Gogoi then asked the attorney general if the government would be able to give details of the decision-making process without revealing the details of the deal itself. Venugopal replied in the affirmative, prompting the Supreme Court to then ask for the information to be furnished.

“We are making it clear that we have not taken into account the allegations raised by the petitions [that have challenged the Rafale deal],” CJI Gogoi clarified. “Order only to satisfy that the decision making process was followed.”

(With inputs from Aneesha Mathur/ India Today)

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