Supreme Court reserves verdict on plea demanding CBI probe in Rafale deal

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Wednesday after a marathon hearing reserved its verdict on the plea demanding a probe by the Central Beaureu of Investigation (CBI) in the Indo-France Rafale Fighter jets deal. The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph reserved its verdict after hearing the petition regarding the disclosure of pricing details of the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. The top court bench during the hearing had listened to the argument from petitioners, the Central government along with assistance from officers of the Indian Air Force.

Earlier on Monday the Central government acting on Supreme Court’s order submitted an affidavit in connection with the Rafale deal, citing that defence procurement norms were followed in acquiring 36 Rafale aircraft. The Union government has assured the top court that “all requisite steps were taken in the Rafale deal”. In the nine-page affidavit, the Centre said, “The procurement process as laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 was followed in the procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft”.

Rafale Deal Hearing Live Updates:

  • The Air Marshal and Vice-Marshals can go back. It is a different war game here in court. You can go to the actual war rooms: CJI Ranjan Gogoi after hearing senior Indian Air Force officials on issue of #RafaleDeal
  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday after a marathon hearing reserved its verdict on the plea demanding a probe by the Central Beaureu of Investigation (CBI) in the Indo-France Rafale Fighter jets deal.
  • Supreme Court asks Additional Secretary Defence as to why the offset guidelines were changed in 2015. What about country’s interest? What if the offset partner doesn’t do any production?
  • Supreme Court asks about the change in offset guidelines in 2015. Additional Secretary of the Defence Ministry explains the defence offset guideline to the court and says that the offset contract runs concurrently with the main contract.
  • AG KK Venugopal appearing for the Centre says, Dassault has not yet submitted details of offset partner to government.
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi asks Air Vice Marshal Chalapathi about latest inductions to Indian Air Force.AVM Chalapathi tells the court that Sukhoi-30 was the latest induction, further says, India needed 4 plus generation fighters that is why the Rafale jet was selected
  • Air Vice Marshal Chalapathi is present inside Court number 1 and answering the questions put forth by CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi says, any debate on pricing of the Rafale deal comes only if this Court decides those aspects needs to come in public domain.
  • AG KK Venugopal appearing for the Centre says, pricing details have been given in a sealed cover but there are factors like inter governmental agreement which barred its disclosure.
  • AG KK Venugopal appearing for the Centre tells SC that secrecy is not on the price of aircraft but on weaponry & avionics.The price of Rafale with break up of weapons&avionics has been shared with the Court, but Court cannot sit in judicial review on it.
  • CJI Ranjan Gogoi asks AG KK Venugopal, is any officer from Indian Air Force present in court to answer the queries on the issue? After all we are dealing with the air force, we would have liked to ask from the officer of Air force on the issue.
  • SC lawyer Prashant Bhushan submits, on pricing there can’t be any secrecy issue when govt itself disclosed the price in Parliament. It’s a bogus argument for govt to say they can’t disclose pricing. In new deal, Rafale jets cost 40% more than earlier deal
  • Senior SC lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, also told the Apex Court that there was no sovereign guarantee from the side of the France government in the deal.
  • Senior SC lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for former Union minister Arun Shourie, who is also one of the petitioners in the Rafale deal case, submitted to the three-judge Apex Court that only in three situations, the intergovernmental route can be resorted.
  • Counsel appearing for AAP leader Sanjay Singh tells the apex court that pricing of the 36 Rafale aircraft deal was revealed in the Parliament twice, hence, the submission of government that pricing details cannot be made public was not acceptable.
  • Petitioner advocate ML Sharma tells 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


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