Without issuing a notice to the Centre, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre to submit details pertaining to its decision-making process in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. A top court bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi asked the government to submit the details in a sealed cover, but made it clear that it doesn’t want information on the pricing and technical details of the deal with France.
“We would like to be appraised of the details of the steps in the decision making process in Rafale deal,” the bench also comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said.
Appearing on behalf of the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal urged the bench to junk the petitions and said that if a notice is issued, it will go to the Prime Minister etc. “This is a political petition and not a public interest litigation and is part of a bitter fight going on between ruling and opposition party. Please don’t entertain such petitions,” the AG argued.
Petitioners ML Sharma and Vineet Dhanda submitted that the court should step in and order the government to reveal the details. Sharma said that the deal has caused massive loss to the state exchequer. Another petitioner, Tehseen Poonawalla, however, chose to withdraw his petition.
After hearing the arguments, the court refused to junk the pleas and asked the AG to file the details related to the decision making process in a sealed cover. The Centre is liklely to submit the details by October 29, a media report said.