Rafale verdict: Supreme Court dismisses all review petitions in fighter jet deal case

  • A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph pronounced verdicts on three review petitions
  • Rafale aircraft—the first of 36 ordered by India- was handed over to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 8 October

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking a review of its judgement giving a clean chit to the Modi government in the Rafale fighter jet deal with French firm Dassault Aviation. The apex court refused to order filing of the first information report (FIR) in the Rafale matter.

The SC termed Rahul Gandhi’s statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “unfortunate” but let him off saying no further contempt proceedings needed to be pursued against the Congress leader. Gandhi had repeatedly said “chowkidaar chor hai” (the security guard is a thief) in an apparent reference to Modi who calls himself “desh ka chowkidaar” (the nation’s security guard).

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph pronounced verdicts on three review petitions filed by the trio, lawyer Vineet Dhandha and Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Sanjay Singh.

The three-judge bench stated there is no merit in the review petition and no probe required in the purchase deal. The petition is dismissed on the grounds that it is not within the purview of judicial review under Article -32 of the Constitution.

On May 10, the top court had reserved its verdict on pleas, including the one filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seeking review of its December 14 judgement which gave clean chit to the Modi government’s Rafale deal to procure fighter jets from Dassault Aviation.

However, while reserving the judgement on the review petitions, the apex court had posed searching questions to the Centre on its deal with France to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets on issues like “waiver of sovereign guarantee” and the absence of technology transfer clause in the inter-governmental agreement (IGA) pact.

The aircraft—the first of 36 ordered by India- was handed over to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 8 October, when the Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 87th founding day.

Source: Livemint

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