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Centre submits details of Rafale deal in sealed cover to Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Central Government on Saturday submitted the details of the decision-making process pertaining to the Rafale deal to the Court Secretary General in a sealed cover.

Rafale fighter jets stand on tarmac during the close air support (CAS) exercise Serpentex 2016 hosted by France in the Mediterranean island of Corsica, at Solenzara air base, March 17, 2016.

Photo: Reuters

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had sought the said information from the Centre without divulging the technical details and the prices of the Rafale fighter jets. The apex court will hear the matter next on October 29.

On Wednesday, a fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the top court in connection with the Rafale deal by advocate Prashant Bhushan, and former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, seeking a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case.

In 2012, during the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) tenure, India planned to buy 18 off-the-shelf jets from France, with 108 others to be assembled in the country by the state-run aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government scrapped the UPA’s plan and announced that it would buy 36 “ready-to-fly” Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation.

The opposition Congress party has been accusing the Centre of irregularities in the high-profile Defence fighter jets contract, alleging that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government.


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