Rafale deal in full compliance with procurement norms, says govt
13 November 2018
The centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France was in full compliance with Defence Procurement Procedure and that the deal was subsequently approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
In a document presented to the court, the government stated that the procurement of the Rafale fighter jets were in conformity with the process laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 and with the approval of the CCS.
The 14-page document also said the agreement was arrived at after negotiations between the Indian and the French governments.
The document also said that the Indian negotiating team was constituted which held negotiations with the French side for about an year and approval of the CCS, being the Competent Financial Authority, was taken before signing the Inter-Government Agreement.
The apex court had asked the government to furnish details and the steps taken in the decision making process for the procurement of the jets in a sealed cover.
The SC directive follows a group of petitions filed by among others, former BJP leaders and union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and activist senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, on 31 October.
The apex court had sought details, including the steps in the decision making process for the procurement of jets, which could “legitimately” be brought into public domain, be made available to the parties who have filed petitions before it in the matter.
It had also asked the centre to place before it in a sealed cover within 10 days the pricing details of 36 Rafale fighter jets India is buying from France. Later, the centre also submitted the price details of the fighter jets in a sealed cover to the court.
The apex court had also told the government that if the pricing detail was “exclusive” and could not be shared with the court then it should file an affidavit in this regard.
The petitioners had sought a court-monitored probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale jets. The document was also handed over to the petitioners.
The apex court will hear the matter on 14 November.
India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition at an estimated cost of Rs58,000 crore, as part of the equipment upgradation process of the Indian Air Force.
The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.
The petitions seeking the probe in the Rafale deal were first filed by advocates Manohar Lal Sharma and Vineet Dhanda. Later, AAP MP Sanjay Singh also filed the petition.
Since then, Sinha, Shourie and Prashant Bhushan had filed a joint petition.