The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed all petitions seeking a court-monitored probe in the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal with France.
NDTV quoted the apex court as saying, “We don’t find any substantial element to show that there is any favouritism.”
The apex court said that a detailed review of the Rafale deal was not required. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also said that it is satisfied with the decision-making process.
“A country can’t afford to be underprepared. Not correct for the Court to sit as an appellant authority and scrutinise all aspects,” the bench added.
On the issue of pricing, the bench said that it is not the job of this court to go into issues of pricing.
CJI Gogoi also said that there is no reason for interference in the choice of offset partner and perception of individuals can’t be the basis for roving inquiry in sensitive issue of defence procurement, reported ANI.
Advocate ML Sharma was the first petitioner in the case. Later, another lawyer Vineet Dhanda had moved the apex court with the plea for court-monitored probe into the deal.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh has also filed a petition against the fighter jet deal.
After the three petitions were filed, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with activist advocate Prashant Bhushan had moved the apex court with a plea for a direction to the CBI to register FIR for alleged irregularities in the deal.
The Centre has defended the multi-billion deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets and opposed public disclosure of the pricing details.
India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment. The estimated cost of the deal is Rs 58,000 crore.
(With PTI inputs)