New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on October 10 a fresh PIL filed against the Rafale deal between India and France.
The PIL seeks a direction to the Centre to reveal details of the deal and comparative prices during the UPA and NDA rule to the apex court in a sealed cover. The petition also sought information about the contract given to Reliance by Dassault.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph would hear the PIL filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with Hollande on April 10, 2015, in Paris. Since then, the Congress has launched an offensive against the Modi government alleging corruption and violation of rules.
Advocate M L Sharma’s plea, filed earlier, alleging discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and seeking a stay on it will also come up for hearing on October 10.
Sharma claimed in his plea that the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an “outcome of corruption” and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253 (Parliament has power to make any law for implementing any inter-government agreement) of the Constitution.
A similar plea was filed in the apex court in March this year seeking an independent probe into the Rafale deal and disclosure of the cost involved in the deal before Parliament.
The plea, filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla, had sought a direction against the Centre on why the Union Cabinet’s approval was not sought as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the procurement deal with France on September 23, 2016.
Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between the governments of India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts in a fly-away condition as a part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment.
The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.
Indian Air Force had advanced a proposal to buy 126 fighter aircraft in August 2007 and floated a tender. Following this, an invitation was sent to various aviation companies to participate in the bidding process.