The verdict of the Supreme Court on Rafale deal gave a relief to the Bharatiya Janata Party that was embroiled in the defence controversy. The Modi government inking the first 36 Rafale fighters with French manufacturer Dassault Aviation is above board, the apex court of the country clarified today. With that the call for a court instituted CBI probe, too, got dismissed.
The Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi with the bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph replied, “No occasion to doubt the process of decision making in the award of contract for the purchase of 36 Rafale jets. It is not the Court’s job to get into comparative pricing details”.
The top court added, “We don’t find any material to show that its commercial favouritism. We are satisfied that there is no occasion to doubt the process. A country cannot afford to be underprepared. It is not correct for the court to sit as an appellant authority and scrutinise all aspects”.
Rejecting all claims by the petitioners in the deal’s way, the court opined, “There is no reason for interference in the choice of offset partner and perception of individuals can’t be the basis for roving inquiry in sensitive issue of defence procurement”.
The CJI, Ranjan Gogoi expressed, “We can’t compel the government to purchase 126 aircrafts and it’s not proper for the court to examine each aspect of this case”.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan had filed this petition along with former Union Ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, advocates ML Sharma and Vineet Dhanda.