NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it may next week hear a public interest litigation seeking a stay on Rafale fighter jet deal between India with France.
The PIL has been filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma in which he has alleged discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France. An SC bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered Sharma’s submissions and his plea has been listed for urgent hearing.
Rafale deal defence agreement has been signed between the governments of India and France to purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in fly-away condition as a part of upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment. Rafale fighter aircraft, a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), is manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.
In January this year, a plea was filed in the apex court seeking an independent probe into the Centre’s decision to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. The petition had alleged that it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to disclose the cost involved in the entire deal to Parliament and the citizens. It also sought issuance of a direction against the Centre as to why the Cabinet’s approval was not sought as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the procurement deal with France on September 23, 2016.