SC to hear plea challenging Rafale deal on October 10
(Sourced from PTI)
The Supreme Court will hear a fresh PIL against the Rafale deal on October 10. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph today said it will hear the PIL which seeks a direction to the Center to reveal details of the deal and prices during the UPA and NDA rule in a sealed cover to the SC.
Rafale deal is a defense agreement signed between the Governments of India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as a part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment. The petition filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda also sought information about the contract given to Reliance Defence by Dassault Aviation (France-based aerospace giant).
Advocate ML Sharma had also filed a plea earlier over the deal. He claimed in his plea that the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an "outcome of corruption" and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253 (Parliament has the power to make any law for implementing any inter-government agreement) of the Constitution.
A similar plea was filed in March seeking an independent probe into the Rafale deal by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla. The plea by Poonawalla had sought a direction against the Center on why the Union Cabinet's approval was not sought as part of the Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the procurement deal with France on September 23, 2016.
Indian Air Force (IAF) had advanced a proposal to buy 126 fighter aircraft and had floated an international tender for what was dubbed the MMRCA in August 2007. Following this, an invitation was sent to various aviation companies to participate in the bidding process.