Rafale Fighter Jet Deal signed by Narendra Modi led Government of India with the French Jet Company was attracting huge controversies. From the Opposition especially it was facing many allegations. The public too was unsure about the allegations and explanations both the sides of the Government were giving. To avoid all these allegations, the Government had submitted all the deal documents in a sealed file to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had thoroughly studied and examined the facts and figures and gave its verdict. The allegations the Government faced of being Corrupt in hiding the numbers and exaggerating them is given a clean chit. Court had dismissed all four petitions on the deal seeking Court’s deep involvement in; decision making, pricing and selection of offset partners.
The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph had also said, “ruling out any intervention on this ‘sensitive’ issue, where our country cannot afford to be unprepared/ underprepared”.
Alleged favouritism showed by the Government to select Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group as the French Dassault’s Offset partner instead of HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) was purely declined. The decision clearly stated that there was no tweaking of any system in selecting the Reliance Group.
Irregularities in the deal were struck down by the Court by saying, ” We are satisfied that there is no occasion to really doubt the process… even if minor deviations have occurred, that would not result in either setting aside the contract or it requiring a detailed scrutiny by the court”.
On excessive Pricing, Supreme Court had said, ” We have also gone through the explanatory note on the costing, item wise”, and would not say more on the pricing, “as the material has to be kept in a confidential domain”. The need of Fourth and Fifth generation is higher in these times and the quality of which can not be compromised.
In this order, the Supreme Court overlooks the price comparison and pricing ranges, stating it is not in its domain. The Bench had approached Senior Air Force officers in this regard and said this on the selection of Offset Partners, “it is neither appropriate nor within the experience of this court to step into this arena of what is technically feasible or not”.
Ending their verdict on a final note, they questioned the petitioners of why they did not file for scrutiny when the deal was signed and finalised in 2016.