Rafale fighter aircraft, a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), is manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation
New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India Friday quashed a bunch of petitions seeking a probe into Rafale fighter deal saying it did not find any merit in allegations of corruption in the deal but regarding the pricing the apex court said its was not a right platform to discuss such details.
“It is certainly not the job of this court to carry out a comparison of the pricing details in matters like the present”, the SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said in unanimous ruling adding that it was not saying anything more on the question of pricing as the details had to be kept confidential.
“We do not find any substantial material on record to show that this is a case of commercial favouritism to any party by the Indian Govt as the option to choose the IOP (Indian Offset Partner) does not vest with the Indian Government”, the Apex Court said dismissing four petitions including the one by senior BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Advocate Prashant Bhushan.
Rafale fighter aircraft, a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), is manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation. Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between the governments of India and France for purchasing 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in fly-away condition as a part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment.
The Congress and other opposition parties alleged that Modi government has purchased the fighter jets costing more than 03 times the price the erstwhile UPA government had finalised. The Modi government however rubbished these allegations saying it had done nothing wrong.
ruling BJP and Congress meanwhile read the SC judgement as per their own interests. While the BJP is celebrating the SC verdict demanding Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi to apologise, Congress accused the BJP of spreading misinformation and claimed that the verdict has actually vindicated the party’s stand.
“Truth always triumphs! Court’s judgment on the Rafale deal exposes the campaign of misinformation spearheaded by Congress president for political gains. The court didn’t find anything wrong with the process, nor did it find any commercial favouritism in the deal,” BJP chief Amit Shah said in a tweet soon after the verdict was delivered.
Congress on the other hand that the Supreme Court has vindicated its stand that “corruption” in the Rafale fighter jet deal cannot be decided by it and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the deal.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Congress had stated earlier that the Rafale issue cannot be decided by the Supreme Court, and the alleged corruption in the defence contract can only be brought out by a JPC after examining the files and notings in the contract.
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