Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Supreme Court Judgment on Rafale Deal ‘Flawed’: Prashant Bhushan

Supreme Court Judgment on Rafale Deal ‘Flawed’: Prashant Bhushan

The deal has become a major political issue in India with main opposition Indian National Congress party accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of buying the aircraft at almost three times the price being negotiated when it was in power before Modi came to power in 2014.

The SC verdict has boomeranged on the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party that made the Rafale deal a key election issue against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Indian defense procurement rules state that a foreign firm must invest at least 30 percent of the contract in India to help to build up its manufacturing base and wean it off imports.

Referring to their interaction with senior Air Force officers and the material placed before it, a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K M Joseph said: "We are satisfied there is no occasion to doubt the decision-making process".

Pointing to the Supreme Court not adjudicating on matters of pricing or the technical aspects of the jet's deal, Sibal ridiculed the Modi government for tom-toming the verdict as a clean chit.

But the court said there was no evidence of commercial favoritism. The parameter of scrutiny would give far more leeway to the Government, keeping in mind the nature of the procurement itself. "Eminences wanting to blindly join anti-Modi chorus too stand exposed", BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav tweeted. "The false propaganda of the opposition has been rejected by the top court. This is a big political victory for the ruling party and a loss of face for the opposition which has been needlessly gunning for the Prime Minister". Former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, along with lawyer Prashant Bhushan too had filed a PIL seeking filing of FIR and a court-monitored probe into the deal. "I don't think the verdict in any way vindicates the PM or the BJP". "We were not seeking to rescind the deal, we only sought a probe".

In that note, which was in the form of bullet points, the government said the second point carried the sentence "the government has already shared the pricing details with the CAG".

Randeep Surjewala: Article 136&32 are not the forum to decide the issue, the pricing, the process, the sovereign guarantee&the corruption in the Rafale contract.Only forum&only media is a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) which can probe the entire corruption in #RafaleDeal. Indians have become increasingly frustrated with the economic situation in the country.

The deal has been caught in controversy since September when Francois Hollande, who was the French president at the time of the deal, told news website Mediaport that Indian government had pressured Dassault to partner with India's Reliance Defence to meet its "offset policy", BBC reported.

"We had no choice".

"Yes if he (Kharge) has not received, we have to take him at his word". "This seems to have triggered the writ petitions", the SC said, noting the petitioners' allegations relating to pricing of aircraft and the alleged underhand deal to induct Reliance Aerostructure as IOP.

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