SC gives clean chit to Rafale, major boost for the Government of India — Congress on backfoot.
The Supreme Court has provided the BJP a major shot in the arm by ruling in favour of the Government of India in the Rafale case.
The Apex Court has ruled that it is satisfied with the decision making process and no probe is required for the deal.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the court is not equipped with the technical expertise to ascertain issues like pricing and choice of offset partners.
The Court also said that keeping security concerns in mind, it was not right for the court to get into issues like defence contracts and procurements.
The bench had reserved its verdict on November 14 and also said that pricing details of Rafale jets would only be discussed if the court decided to allow it.
The government had given the pricing details for the Rafale deal, which is expected to be at around Rs 58,000 crore, in a sealed envelope.
The court had enquired about various aspects of the deal including lack of sovereign guarantee, selection of Reliance as the Indian offset partner and also why an Inter-Governmental Agreement had been signed with France.
The petitioners including Prashant Bhushan and former Union Minister Arun Shourie had also questioned why procedure had been circumvented to abort the earlier process for procuring 126 fighter jets and replacing it with the order of 36 jets in ready-to-fly condition.
The Centre had countered that this was done on the grounds of “urgent requirement” of national security and was therefore not subject to scrutiny.