The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to submit details of decision-making process on Rafale fighter jet deal in a sealed cover.
The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, however, made it clear it does not want information on pricing and technical details of the deal with France.
“We want to satisfy ourselves on the steps taken in the decision-making. We are not going into the issue of suitability keeping in mind the sensitivity of the issue,” the SC bench said.
The court was hearing various petitions seeking directions, including asking the Centre to reveal details of the Rafale deal and the comparative prices during the UPA and NDA rule in a sealed cover to the apex court.
A PIL filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda sought a direction to the Centre to reveal details of the deal and the comparative prices during the UPA and NDA rule in a sealed cover to the apex court.
The petition also sought information about the contract given to Reliance by Dassault.
Earlier, Advocate M L Sharma’s filed a plea, alleging discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and seeking a stay on it.
A similar plea was filed in the apex court in March this year seeking an independent probe into the Rafale deal and disclosure of the cost involved in the deal before Parliament.
The plea, filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla, had sought a direction against the Centre on why the Union 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.
The deal was announced in 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French president Francois Hollande.
The controversy over the Rafale deal escalated after former French president Hollande earlier last month, said that France had no role in the selection of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as India offset partner for Rafale-maker Dassault.
(With agency inputs)