The Centre has submitted the details of its decision-making process in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover, ANI reported on Saturday. The court is hearing two pleas against the agreement.
On October 10, the court had asked the Centre to apprise it of the details in a sealed cover by October 29, when it will take up the matter for hearing. The judges, however, did not issue an official notice to the Centre, and told the government that its response need not cover the matter of pricing, Bar and Bench reported.
Supreme Court lawyer Vivek Dhanda, who has filed the first plea, has urged the court to direct the Centre to reveal details of the deal and the comparative prices during the National Democratic Alliance and United Progressive Alliance governments. He has also asked for details of the contract that French firm Dassault Aviation, which manufactures the jets, has signed with Anil Ambani’s company Reliance Defence.
Advocate ML Sharma has filed a plea claiming there are discrepancies in the agreement. He asked the court to quash the agreement, saying it was an “outcome of corruption” and was not ratified by Parliament under Article 253 of the Constitution.
India signed the 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 favoured Ambani’s company, which has no experience in the sector.