New Delhi: In a major relief for the NDA government, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed all the six writ petitions seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, also said that it did not find any substantial element to show that there is any “substantial favouritism” in the deal.
‘It is not the job of this court to go into the differential pricing details, which must be kept confidential,’ the three-judge bench ruled.
The government had questioned the court’s expertise to review the Rs. 59,000-crore deal for 36 planes with French firm Dassault.
The verdict is a huge relief to the government, which has been constantly under attack from the opposition on the Rafale issue.
There are numerous petitions filed before the top court seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the alleged Rafale deal.
The petitions were filed by several prominent people — Prashant Bhushan, Manohar Lal Sharma, Arun Shourie, AAP MP Sanjay Singh, Vineet Dhanda and Yashwant Sinha.
Petitions demanding a court-monitored investigation into the deal were filed after the Congress mounted a sharp attack on the Government alleging irregularities in the Rafale deal.
The Congress has been accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government of corruption and crony capitalism.
The Congress has alleged that the Centre scrapped a deal for 126 Rafale jets negotiated by the previous UPA government and entered an expensive new contract just to help Anil Ambani’s defence company bag an offset partnership with the jet manufacturer Dassault.
Prashant Bhushan, who is one of the petitioners in the case, said that he did not agree with the court decision.
“The Supreme Court has said that the information they have at the moment, based on that, there is no requirement for an investigation. On pricing too, the Supreme Court said, that the price was decided by Dassault Aviation – a private company, not the government; Hence there is no need for getting into that,” he said, adding that he still believed his demand for an investigation was justified