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Rafale fighter jets deal case: A timeline of events

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi government in the Rafale fighter jets deal case, saying review petitions were without merit. The court rejected pleas that had sought re-examination of the December 14, 2018 verdict which said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: November 14, 2019 13:31 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday closed the contempt plea against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing to the apex court his "chowkidar chor hai" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the Rafale case. The court said the remarks made by Gandhi were far from true and he should have refrained from those and could have been careful. "It is unfortunate that without any verification certain remarks were made by the contemnor (Rahul Gandhi) against the prime minister," a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said.

The bench referred to the affidavit filed by him tendering unconditional apology and said, "Gandhi enjoys an important position in the political spectrum and no court should be dragged to political discourse, whether valid or invalid".

Following is the chronology of events in the Rafale fighter jets deal

Dec 30, 2002: Defence Procurement Procedures (DPP) adopted to streamline the process

Aug 28, 2007: Ministry of Defence issues Request for Proposal for procurement of 126 MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) fighters

Sep 4, 2008: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group incorporates Reliance Aerospace Technologies Ltd (RATL)

May 2011: Air Force short-lists Rafale and Eurofighter jets

Jan 30, 2012: Dassault Aviation's Rafale aircraft comes up with the lowest bid

Mar 13, 2014: Work Share agreement signed between HAL and Dassault Aviation under which they were responsible for 70 per cent and 30 per cent of the work, respectively, for 108 aircraft

Aug 8, 2014: Then defence minister Arun Jaitley tells Parliament that 18 direct 'fly-away' aircraft expected to be delivered in 3-4 years from signing of the contract; remaining 108 aircraft to be delivered in the next seven years

Apr 8, 2015: The then foreign secretary says detailed discussions underway between Dassault, MoD and HAL

Apr 10: New deal for the acquisition of 36 direct 'fly-away' aircraft from France announced

Jan 26, 2016: India and France sign MoU for 36 Rafale aircraft

Sep 23: Inter-governmental agreement signed

Nov 18: Government states in Parliament that the cost of each Rafale aircraft to be approximately Rs 670 crore and that all aircraft will be delivered by April 2022

Dec 31, 2016: Dassault Aviation's Annual Report reveals the actual price paid for the 36 aircraft at about Rs 60,000 crore, more than double the government's stated price in Parliament

Mar 13, 2018: PIL in SC seeks independent probe into Centre's decision to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from France and disclosure of the cost involved in the deal before Parliament

Sep 5: SC agrees to hear PIL seeking a stay on Rafale fighter jet deal

Oct 8: SC agrees to hear on October 10 fresh PIL seeking direction to Centre to file in 'sealed cover' the details of the agreement for buying 36 Rafale fighter jets

Oct 10: SC asks Centre to provide details of decision-making process in the Rafale fighter jet deal in a sealed cover

Oct 24: Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan moves SC, seeking registration of FIR into Rafale fighter jet deal

Oct 31: SC asks Centre to place it in a sealed cover within 10 days the pricing details of 36 Rafale fighter jets

Nov 12: Centre places price details of 36 Rafale fighter jets in a sealed cover before SC; it also gives details of steps that led to the finalisation of the Rafale deal

Nov 14: SC reserves judgement on pleas seeking court-monitored probe in Rafale deal

Dec 14: SC says there is no occasion to doubt the decision-making process of the Modi government and dismisses all the petitions seeking direction to the CBI to register an FIR for alleged irregularities in the jet deal

Jan 2, 2019: Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan move SC seeking review of its December 14 judgement

Feb 26: SC agrees to hear review petitions in open court

Mar 13: Govt tells SC that documents filed by review petitioners are sensitive to national security

Apr 10: SC dismisses Centre's objection claiming privilege over documents by petitioners to seek review

Apr 12: BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi moves SC against Rahul Gandhi for wrongly attributing his 'chowkidar chor hai' remarks on Rafale to the apex court

Apr 23: SC issues contempt notice to Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on Rafale verdict

May 8: Gandhi tenders unconditional apology in SC

May 10: SC reserves verdict on review pleas and contempt petition

Nov 14: SC dismisses review pleas against its verdict in the Rafale deal, rejects the contention that there was a need for registration of an FIR in connection with the procurement of 36 fighter jets from French firm Dassault Aviation. Supreme Court closes contempt plea against Rahul Gandhi.

Also Read | Supreme Court dismisses review pleas seeking probe into Rafale deal

Also Read | Truth has triumphed: BJP on Rafale verdict

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