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Rafale fighter jets deal: Supreme Court to hear 2 pleas on October 10

In his plea, advocate Vineet Dhanda has sought a direction to the Centre to file in “sealed cover” the details of the agreement between India and France.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2018 00:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rafale,Rafale deal,Rafale fighter jets deal
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on October 10 two fresh public interest litigations, one seeking the details of the agreement India has entered into with France for buying 36 Rafale Fighter jets and the other seeking setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) under the supervision of the apex court to probe the deal.(AFP File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on October 10 two fresh public interest litigations, one seeking the details of the agreement India has entered into with France for buying 36 Rafale Fighter jets and the other seeking setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) under the supervision of the apex court to probe the deal.

A bench headed by chief justice Rajan Gogoi heard the first plea filed by advocate Vineet Dhanda and agreed to take it up on October 10. The bench also ordered tagging of Dhanda’s petition with that of an earlier one filed by advocate ML Sharma who had sought a stay on the fighter jet deal between India and France.

In his plea, Dhanda has sought a direction to the Centre to file in “sealed cover” the details of the agreement between India and France.

“Issue an appropriate writ or direction to the respondents (Centre and the Ministry of Defence) to file the details of the agreement entered into between the Union of India and France with regard to the purchase of 36 Rafale Fighter Jets in a sealed envelope,” read Dhanda’s plea.

He contended that the criticism (of the deal) had reached a “proverbial nadir” and opposition parties have adopted a very “ignominious and profligate way even to criticise the Prime Minister of the country”.

Aam Admi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh too moved the apex court on Monday demanding that an SIT be formed to probe the matter and that the apex court monitor it.

The plea sought that the SIT should probe “as to how the figure of 36 fighter jets was arrived at without the formalities associated with such a highly sensitive defence procurement”. It also questioned the alleged escalation of price of each jet from Rs 526 crore to more than 1,500 crore.

Singh’s plea urged that SIT should “investigate as to how a novice company viz. Reliance Defence came in picture of this highly sensitive defence deal involving Rs 59,000 crore without having any kind of experience and expertise in making of fighter jets”.

First Published: Oct 09, 2018 00:10 IST