Supreme Court dismisses investigation into alleged Rafale Scam

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Rafale Scam Verdict

Has the top court given the alleged Rafale Scam a Clean Chit? Well the media may want you to believe so, but here the facts!

A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi dismissed petitions seeking a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the deal between India and France for the Rafale fighter jets. However, that doesn’t mean the scam didn’t happen.

The top court has dismissed the petitions which demanded an enquiry into the corruption and pricing of the Rafale deal given to an inexperienced Anil Ambani’s Reliance Aerostructure Vs HAL who had several years of experience in making aircrafts.

The Supreme court has merely indicated that this is beyond their jurisdiction to compel the government to purchase 126 aircrafts. It is thus that the opposition led by Rahul Gandhi has strongly demanded an unbiased and fair investigation to establish the facts.

A clean chit cannot be given to any case, unless the investigations are carried out. And today’s Supreme court verdict does not necessarily mean that there was no corruption in the Rafale scam. The government should clear all facts by cooperating into a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) investigation for the same.

The petitioners in this case were, activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh and advocates ML Sharma and Vineet Dhanda who had asked for an investigation on four grounds:

 

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Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie & Yashwant Sinha

 

  1. Lack of transparency over the pricing of the jets
  2. An offsets deal that seemed to favour a private firm
  3. Flouting of due process in closing the deal
  4. The deal isn’t a government-to-government deal at all as it has been pitched because France refused to offer India a sovereign guarantee and instead gave it a letter of comfort

The Congress has reacted asking the media to clearly read the official order before spreading misinformation on the same. The official party handle has quoted:

 

“The Supreme Court has clearly stated that it is outside their jurisdiction to probe into the . We continue our demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the . Sign this petition to demand transparency”

 

 

 

 

Congress Media In-Charge, Randeep Surjewala has given the official stand on behalf of the party, stating that today’s Supreme court verdict validates why Congress did not take up this matter in the top court. He also said that SC was not a forum to decide such sensitive defence information.

 

Adding further, Surjewala even said that Article 136 and 32 are not the forum to decide the issue, the pricing, the process, the sovereign guarantee and the corruption in the Rafale contract. He advocated that the only forum to undertake this probe will be through a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).


Another senior leader of the Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge, said that their demand was always for a JPC because the main issue is pricing which is outside the purview of the Supreme Court.

The above effectively states that the Supreme Court does not have a jurisdiction to pursue the case. Probably this was also the reason, despite criticism, why the Congress did not pursue it in the court of law.

Does this also wash off the alleged criminality and the alleged fraud involved? The prime issue of corruption rests with the pricing of Rafale, which can be traced only with a JPC.

The nation surely deserves more answers than a mere dismissal.

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What were the allegations?

– The new deal for Rafale by the Modi government replaced one being negotiated by the previous UPA government

-The Congress claimed that the price at which India is buying Rafale aircraft now is Rs. 1,670 crore for each, which is three times of Rs. 526 crore, the initial bid by the company when the UPA was trying to buy the aircraft

-It is also alleged that there were offset deals signed by Dassault is with a joint venture it has with Reliance Group of Anil Ambani

-The Congress also claimed that the earlier deal which was assigned to HAL was scrapped and a new one was signed just to provide Anil Ambani this opportunity for an offset deal

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What was Government’s stance on this?

Initially the Narendra Modi government had denied most of these allegations, saying it could not disclose pricing details publicly on account of a secrecy clause in its agreement with France and to ensure India’s enemies do not get to know details of the India-specific enhancements and weaponry of the Rafale. However, the new CJI Gogoi, had ordered the government to submit details of the price in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court, however, the court also said that it would not get into the pricing issue.

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Supreme Court Orders Government To Disclose Pricing Details Of Rafale

Will this verdict change the dynamics of the race to Lok Sabha 2019? Rafale Deal Scam was on top of opposition’s list to criticise the Modi government of crony capitalism.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Tomorrow the monopolistic defense suppliers can choose pakodawalas who are cronies as their offset partners with tacit support of some elements in the government .And common man and tax payer has no right to question because SECURITY of country is brought into play.

  2. With full support from sold media, BJP is misleading people. Its coterie will shout others out. That is the strategy it is used to apply everywhere where it is caught on the wrong foot. Why refuse a JPC? Because in that forum, it cannot lie nor hide facts.

  3. was it not foolhardy for these eminent persons to go to S.C, UNDER A VERY LIMITED PROVISION OF JURISDICTION?
    HAL WAS A DOG IN THE MANGER FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES, WITHOUT DELIVERING TO THE NEEDS OF I.A.F

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