The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a petition next week seeking a stay on the Rafale deal between India and France, PTI reported. The petition was filed by advocate ML Sharma, who had requested an urgent hearing.
Sharma has alleged that there were discrepancies in the fighter jet deal and that the deal was an outcome of corruption. He sought a First Information Report against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar, businessman Anil Ambani and French company Dassault Aviation.
Sharma said the inter-government agreement between India and France was not approved by the Parliament. The petitioner sought an inquiry into the deal by a Special Investigation Team that would be monitored by the Supreme Court. He said that the agreement should be rejected till the completion of the investigation, Firstpost reported.
Since India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets, at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore, the opposition Congress has been accusing the Narendra Modi government of getting an overpriced deal. It has also alleged that the government helped a defence firm owned by Anil Ambani with no experience in the sector to land a mega contract under the deal.
The government has refused to reveal the per-plane price that it has negotiated in the deal, citing a secrecy agreement with France.