The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to provide details of the decision-making process on the Rafale jet deal with France, PTI reported. The court asked the government to apprise it of the details in a sealed cover by October 29. It will hear the matter next on October 31.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was hearing two pleas against the Rafale jet deal. The court did not, however, issue an official notice to the Centre, and said its response need not cover the matter of pricing, according to Bar and Bench.

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that details on the deal cannot be shown to anybody in the interest of national security. He also said that if a notice was issued, it would go to authorities such as the prime minister. “This is a political petition and not a public interest litigation and is part of bitter fight going on between ruling and opposition party,” he said, urging the court not to entertain the pleas.

The first plea, filed by Supreme Court lawyer Vivek Dhanda, sought directions to the Centre to reveal details of the deal and comparative prices during the National Democratic Alliance and United Progressive Alliance governments in a sealed envelope. It also asked for details of the contract French firm Dassault Aviation has signed with Reliance Defence to fulfil offset obligations of the deal.

Advocate ML Sharma had earlier filed a plea claiming that there were discrepancies in the fighter jet deal. He had sought that the agreement be quashed as it was an “outcome of corruption” and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253 of the Constitution.

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 Congress has accused the Narendra Modi government of signing an overpriced deal. It has also alleged that the government helped a defence firm owned by Anil Ambani, which has no experience in the sector, land a mega contract under the deal.