New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday asked the Modi government to submit by October 29 details of the decision-making process leading to the purchase of the Rafale fighter jets but made it clear that this did not construe to be a formal notice on the two petitions it had taken up.
“It is only for the purpose of satisfying ourselves,” the judges said, asserting that it had not taken into account any of the points made about the deal in the two petitions “that appear to be grossly inadequate”.
The SC bench headed by Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi also ordered that the centre’s report “would not cover issue of pricing or suitability of the equipment for Indian Air Force, keeping in mind the sensitive nature” of the information.
The Supreme Court was hearing the petition filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma.
"This is India's biggest corruption deal case," Sharma said in his petition.
He further stated that an "FIR should be registered against Anil Ambani and others for their alleged involvement in the corruption deal."
"People of the country have been put in the dark through this deal", Sharma claimed in his petition.
The petition comes at a time when the Congress party is holding district-wise protests and conducting at least 100 press conferences to reach out to the general public and make them aware of the deal. It is also set to make the Rafale deal one of their primary agendas for the 2019 general election campaign.
Sharma in his petition has also asked for an inquiry by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) monitored by the Supreme Court of India. He has also requested the apex court to cancel the deal until the completion of an investigation by the SIT.
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.
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