MASSIVE: Rafale Review Petitions Dismissed By SC, Court Rejects 'roving & Fishing Inquiry'

General News

The Supreme Court dismissed the review petitions in the Rafale case against its December 14, 2018 judgment upholding the 36 Rafale jets' deal.

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Updated On:
Rafale

The Supreme Court dismissed the review petitions in the Rafale case against its December 14, 2018 judgment upholding the 36 Rafale jets' deal, giving a clean chit to the Modi government. The review petitions asked for a review in the jet deal with French firm Dassault Aviation. The top court rejected the plea that there was a necessity for registration of an FIR in connection with the Rafale deal. 

The five-judge bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S K Kaul, and K M Joseph pronounced the contentious judgment. Justice Kaul, pronouncing the judgment said that the Court found "no merit" in the review petition. The Supreme Court further said, "This Court did not think it appropriate to embark on the roving and fishing inquiry."

In May 2019, a three-judge bench had reserved verdict in the petition seeking review of the earlier December 14 judgment on the government-to-government deal to procure 36 Rafale aircraft. 

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Rafale hearing

The Supreme Court had looked into three aspects of the deal - the decision-making process, the pricing and the choice of the Indian offset partner. It had found no occasion to doubt the decision-making process and said it didn't find anything wrong in the selection of Indian offset partner by manufacturer Dassault. On the third criterion, it had said it wasn't its job to go into the pricing aspects.

However, an error was pointed out in the judgment regarding the pricing details following which the Centre filed a correction application. This had to do with the Supreme Court relying on the Central government's assertion - contained in a sealed cover - that the pricing details had been shared with the CAG and the report by the government's auditor had been placed before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee.

However, the CAG report hadn't yet been placed before the PAC at the time that the case was being heard. Even as the Centre sought a correction over what was cited as a misinterpretation of language used in the sealed cover, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan had sought a re-examination of the SC's findings.

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