The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear on October 10 a fresh PIL seeking a direction to the Centre to file in “sealed cover” the details of the agreement India has entered into with France for buying 36 Rafale fighter jets.
Supreme Court will hear pleas seeking full details of the India-France defence deal for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets and demands for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the same. The matter will be taken up by a top court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph.
On October 8, a plea was filed in the top court by advocate Vineet Dhanda in this regard.
Through his plea, the petitioner had sought directions from the top court to the government for disclosing the details of the deal, including the price of each Rafale fighter jet.
Earlier, a PIL was filed in this connection in the apex court. Meanwhile, a third petition was also filed on the Rafale deal by AAP MP Sanjay Singh. The petition filed by the AAP MP called for setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the defence agreement between India and France.
The top court then clubbed all the three pleas and posted the matter for hearing on October 10.
A Criminal Writ Petition has been filed before the Supreme Court in the Rafale deal, praying for the issuance of the Writ of Mandamus to constitute a Supreme Court monitored SIT to look into the reasons for cancellation of the deal for 126 Rafales, whether any criminal conspiracy was there to benefit the new offset partner and whether the government had required permission and sanctions for the purchase of 36 Rafales in flyaway condition.
“Apparently, the government had not followed the rules made by it, the DPP,” the MP said in a statement.
Singh’s petition questioned how the figure of 36 fighter jets was arrived at “without the formalities associated with such a highly sensitive defence procurement”.
The MP demanded to know why Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was removed from the deal.