The Supreme Court today i.e., November 14, 2018, is examining the sensitive pricing details of the 36 Rafale fighter jets, submitted by the Centre in a sealed cover on November 12, 2018.
A Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph is hearing a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored investigation into the deal.
The Central government has told the Supreme Court that Dassault Aviation, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the Rafale deal, is yet to submit a formal proposal providing the details of the Indian Offset Partner.
Further, the Central government has also stated that it has no role in the selection of Reliance Defence as Offset Partner in the Rafale deal and that the process laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure was completely followed for the procurement of 36 Rafale Aircraft.
Here are the live updates from the Supreme Court:
- CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph commences hearing at 10:40 am.
- Petitioner M.L. Sharma, argues that the 14-page document titled "Details of the steps in the decision making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order" submitted by the Centre itself reveals there has been a serious fraud.
- AAP leader Sanjay Singh's counsel now making his submissions - Centre has not disclosed price to the court but they have disclosed price in Parliament twice, submits Mr. Singh's counsel.
- A new deal was announced in 2015 without cancelling the earlier deal of 126 aircraft, Sanjay Singh.
- Prashant Bhushan making his submissions now - Three issues have been flagged - Procedure, Offset and Pricing; there are three conditions for going for an Intergovernmental Agreement which are not satisfied.
- Bhushan on pricing of the Rafale deal has argued that there can’t be any secrecy when the government itself has disclosed the price in Parliament. "It’s a bogus argument for the government to say they can’t disclose the pricing details. In the new deal, Rafale jets have cost 40% more than the earlier deal," Bhushan said in the court, as per ANI.
- Arun Shourie making his submissions now - The offset clause was slipped in. A company of the experience of Dassault which was set up in 1929 would not have chosen a company here with no experience at all, says Arun Shourie.
Further, Arun Shourie quoting a statement of Mr. Manohar Parrikar, submits that Parrikar was unaware of this deal.