Rafale Deal: What Has Happened so Far
The Centre had on Monday handed over a 14-page document to the petitioners in the case.
The Supreme Court will pronounce the judgment in Rafale deal case on Friday, 14 December. The hearing of the case will begin at 10.30 am. Earlier on 14 November, SC had reserved its verdict on petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into Rafale deal.
In compliance with Supreme Court’s demand of having a word with officials from Indian Air Force (IAF), a team of Air Force officers comprising Air Marshal Alok Khosla and Air Vice Marshal J Chalapathi reported to the court after lunch.
The Attorney General has further alleged that the HAL wanted a longer time slot, 2.7 times more than what Dassault was taking.
He added that the offset partner has to be selected by the vendor, reported Bar and Bench.
- During the hearing, the court agreed that different aspects on pricing need not be discussed now
- AG Venugopal stated that the reason behind the government not wanting to disclose the price is due to the intergovernmental agreement
- On 12 November, the Centre had handed over a 16-page document titled “Details of the steps in the decision-making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order” to the petitioners in the case
Rafale Deal Hearing Commences in Supreme Court
Petitioner advocate ML Sharma told the Supreme Court that report filed by the government in the court reveals that there has been serious fraud while making the decision post May 2015.The petitioner urges Supreme Court that the matter be heard by a five-judge bench
“Negotiations between Indian and French side started in May 2015 but PM Modi announced the deal in April 2015. It’s a serious fraud,” petitioner Sharma said as he began his submission, reported Bar and Bench.
The document says deal for purchase of 36 aircraft was first announced and then negotiations were held, ML Sharma told the court. Attorney General should file reply on affidavit, Bar and Bench reported.
The statement of the Rafale jets deal between PM Modi and France President was announced in 2015 which was before the approval of cabinet committee on security (CCS).
Crucial Hearing on Rafale Deal Pricing Begins in Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 14 November, began a crucial hearing on the pricing details of the 36 Rafale fighter jets, days after the Centre submitted the information in a sealed cover.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, is hearing the matter. Petitioners, who have sought a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal, have made their submissions before the court.
On 12 November, the Centre had handed over a 16-page document titled “Details of the steps in the decision-making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order” to the petitioners in the case.
The government had also provided the pricing details of the Rafale jets to the top court in a sealed cover.
The petitioners are likely to respond to the contents of the documents, that say that the deal for 36 Rafale jets was negotiated on "better terms" and the Defence Procurement Procedure laid out in 2013 was "completely followed."
The Centre has maintained that the Cabinet Committee on Security’s (CCS’) approval was secured before the deal was inked with France.
The details of the decision-making process and pricing were placed in the court in compliance with its October 31 order.
Pricing of the Deal was Revealed in the Parliament Twice: Petitioner
Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde representing the third petitioner Sanjay Singh has submitted that pricing of the deal was revealed in the Parliament twice. Submission of Attorney General that pricing details cannot be made public is unacceptable, Hegde told the court.
There is a huge difference of price per aircraft in the revised deal, the senior advocate argued.
“The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) assessed the need for 126 aircrafts in 2001. How did it change from 126 to 36 aircraft in 2018,” counsel for Singh argued.
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