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Rafale row: SC reserves order on pleas seeking court monitored probe in deal with France for 36 fighter jets Read In Hindi

The Centre had on Monday handed over a 14-page document titled "Details of the steps in the decision making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order" to the petitioners in the case.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: November 14, 2018 15:47 IST ]
Latest Updates | SC hearing on Rafale row

Latest Updates | SC hearing on Rafale row

After hearing arguments from various parties on pleas seeking court monitored probe in procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order in the matter.
 
The Government had earlier submitted the details of the Rafale deal  in a sealed cover as directed by the top court. The Centre had on Monday handed over a 14-page document titled "Details of the steps in the decision making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order" to the petitioners in the case.
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As It Happened: 

03:20 pm: SC reserves order on pleas seeking court monitored probe in deal with France for 36 fighter jets.

02:50 pm: Centre tells the Supreme Court that there is no sovereign guarantee from French government on delivery of 36 Rafale jets but there is a letter of comfort from the French Prime Minister.

02:45 pm: Supreme Court asks Additional Secretary Defence as to why the offset guidelines were changed in 2015. What about country's interest? What if the offset partner doesn't do any production?

02:35 pm: Supreme Court asks about the change in offset guidelines in 2015. Additional Secretary of the Defence Ministry explains the defence offset guideline to the court and says that the offset contract runs concurrently with the main contract.

02:26 pm: CJI Ranjan Gogoi asks Air Vice Marshal Chalapathi about latest inductions to Indian Air Force. AVM Chalapathi tells the court that Sukhoi-30 was the latest induction, further says, India needed 4 plus generation fighters that is why the Rafale jet was selected

02:00 pm: Hearing over Rafale deal resumes in Supreme Court after lunch break. Air Vice Marshal Chalapathi is present inside Court number 1 and answering the questions put forth by CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

12:50 pm: AG KK Venugopal says, pricing details have been given in a sealed cover but there are factors like inter governmental agreement which barred its disclosure. CJI Ranjan Gogoi says, any debate on pricing of the Rafale deal comes only if this Court decides those aspects needs to come in public domain.

12:40 pm: AG KK Venugopal appearing for the Centre tells SC that secrecy is not on the price of aircraft but on weaponry & avionics.The price of Rafale with break up of weapons&avionics has been shared with the Court, but Court cannot sit in judicial review on it.

12:30 pm: CJI Ranjan Gogoi asks AG KK Venugopal, is any officer from Indian Air Force present in court to answer the queries on the issue? After all we are dealing with the air force, we would have liked to ask from the officer of Air force on the issue.

11:55 am: SC lawyer Prashant Bhushan submits, on pricing there can’t be any secrecy issue when govt itself disclosed the price in Parliament. It’s a bogus argument for govt to say they can’t disclose pricing. In new deal, Rafale jets cost 40% more than earlier deal

11:40 am: Attorney General K K Venugopal opposes advocate Prashant Bhushan who wants to submit information on secrecy clause of Rafale agreement.

11:12 am: Rafale deal case: Bhushan says that there was no sovereign guarantee from the side of the France government in the deal.

11:06 am: Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan tells the apex court that the Rafale deal did not follow the required procedure for defence procurement via government-to-government route (IGA). Law ministry had raised questions on IGA but had then left it to the decision of the higher authority, he said.

11:00 am: ML Sharma, Vinnet Dhanda, Sanjay Singh had filed their seperate petitions, while former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan had filed a joint petition in the matter.

10:55 am: Counsel appearing for AAP leader Sanjay Singh tells the apex court that pricing of the 36 Rafale aircraft deal was revealed in the Parliament twice, hence, the submission of government that pricing details cannot be made public was not acceptable.

10:46 am: Petitioner advocate ML Sharma tells Supreme Court that report filed by the government in the court reveals that there has been serious fraud while making the decision post May 2015.The petitioner urges Supreme Court that the matter be heard by a five-judge bench. "The process started after PM Modi and French President announced it in April 2015, suggesting that the cabinet permission was sought after the deal was finalised," Sharma claims. 

10:38 am: Three-bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi begins hearing of the matter

The petitioners are likely to respond to the contents of the documents in which it has been stated by the government that the deal for 36 Rafale jets were negotiated on "better terms" and the Defence Procurement Procedure laid out in 2013 were "completely followed".

The Centre has also said the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval was secured before the deal was inked with France.
 
The details of the decision-making process and pricing were placed in the court in compliance with its October 31 order. 
 
India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of the Indian Air Force equipment. The estimated cost of the deal is Rs 58,000 crore.
 
The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.
 
The petitions seeking the probe in the Rafale deal were first filed by advocates Manohar Lal Sharma and Vineet Dhanda.
 
Later, AAP MP Sanjay Singh had also filed a petition. Former union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan had also filed a joint petition in the apex court. 
 
(With inputs from PTI)

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