The Centre on Monday complied with a Supreme Court order and handed over to petitioners, who sought a court-monitored CBI probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, the document detailing the decisions taken to procure the aircraft.
The centre also submitted the pricing details of the Rafale fighter jet deal in a sealed cover to the Supreme Court.
The Centre said “the procurement process laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 was properly followed and the approval of the Defence Acquisition Council was taken for the Rafale aircraft.
The document was titled “Details of the steps in the decision-making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order”.
The documents said the Indian Negotiating Team was constituted which conducted negotiations with the French side for about a year and approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security, being the Competent Financial Authority, was taken before signing the Inter-Government Agreement.
The Supreme Court had on October 31 asked the Central government to place before it in a sealed cover within 10 days the pricing details and the deemed advantage in the Rafale deal.
However, Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal had told the Bench that pricing details of these jets were not even shared with Parliament. The Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had categorically told the Centre that if the pricing detail was “exclusive” and could not be shared with the court then the Centre should file an affidavit in this regard and say so.
On 10 October, the court had directed the Centre to provide in sealed covers only the “details of the steps in the decision-making process” leading to the deal in which India is buying 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France.
The petitions seeking the probe in the Rafale deal were first filed by advocates Manohar Lal Sharma and Vineet Dhanda.
Later, AAP MP Sanjay Singh had also filed the petition.
Former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan also filed a joint petition.
(With PTI inputs)