Finance Minster Arun Jaitley Friday dubbed allegations on the Rafale jet deal as “fiction writing” that compromised national security, after the Supreme Court dismissed the pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets.
“Falsehood has very short life, in this case it was a few months… The disrupters have lost and lost on all counts,” Finance minister Arun Jaitley said at a press conference, in an apparent attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who has been alleging corruption in the purchase of the fighter jets.
If honest deals are questioned, then civil servants and armed forces will think twice before undertaking such a process in future, Jaitley said.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who addressed a press conference along with Jaitley, said that the matter had been “completely laid to rest”.
Sitharaman said that the top court had made clear pleas against the decision-making, pricing and choice of offset partner in the Rafale deal did not hold.
“The court has clearly stated that the process has been complied with,” Sitharaman said.
To a question about the Congress demand of Joint parliamentary Probe (JPC) into the deal, Jaitley said only judicial body can carry out such an investigation as there has been experience in the past of JPCs working on partisan lines.
“Rafale deal has protected both security and commercial interest of India. Allegations on Rafale was fiction writing that was compromising national security,” he said.
The SC verdict is conclusive and leaves no scope of any doubt on the deal, he said.
In its verdict on Friday, the apex court had said that a detailed review of the Rafale deal was not required. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also said that it was satisfied with the decision-making process.
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 inputs from PTI)