File photo of former union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha with lawyer Prashant Bhushan | PTI
File photo of former union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha with lawyer Prashant Bhushan | PTI
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Petitioners say Supreme Court has taken ‘dangerous step in condoning total disregard of procedures’.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s dismissal of a plea seeking an independent court-monitored investigation into the Rafale fighter jet deal was shocking and disappointing, former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha and advocate Prashant Bhushan said Friday.

The three were among the petitioners who had moved the apex court seeking probe into alleged irregularities in the deal.

Since the courts did not examine the material placed before them by the petitioners, the judgment can by no means be considered to be the SC’s clean chit to the deal, they argued.

“The court overlooks the fact that we were not seeking any enquiry by the court, but only an independent investigation by the CBI or SIT,” they added.

The apex court Friday threw its weight behind the decision-making process of India’s deal with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft, dismissing all the petitions filed against it. Observing that the “country can’t afford to be unprepared in matters of fighter aircraft”, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi added, “We can’t go into wisdom of purchasing 36 in place of over 100 aircraft under the last [UPA] deal… Don’t even need to go into pricing.”


Also read: Set up a JPC to look into Rafale deal, says AAP petitioner Sanjay Singh


‘Several incorrect facts in judgment’

The trio suggested that there was no procedure while procuring the aircraft and the Prime Minister unilaterally announced a new deal, with the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) simply rubber-stamping these with retrospective effect.

“The court takes a dangerous step in condoning the total disregard of procedures,” a statement released by the three said.

They disputed several facts mentioned in the judgment and claimed that they were neither on record nor factually correct. They observed that the judgment “does not even address the documented facts stated in our petition or even deal with our main prayer seeking an investigation”.

While the apex court said the pricing details have been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and its report has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the petitioners said the report was not submitted to the PAC and no portion was placed before Parliament or in the public domain. The Supreme Court had said “only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament and is in public domain”.

The trio expressed astonishment “that the court has stated such a patently incorrect fact in its short judgment”.


Also read: Truth always triumphs — Amit Shah wants Rahul Gandhi apology after SC Rafale verdict


Slamming the judgement, they said: “(It) is in line with earlier judgments… where we have seen that courts have stopped short of ordering independent investigations in matters involving corruption in high places or even given judgments seeking to put a lid on those cases. The issue will continue to agitate the public mind until there is full public disclosure of all the facts and a comprehensive and independent investigation into the deal.”

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5 Comments Share Your Views

5 COMMENTS

  1. What is indeed shocking is that they wanted to take even the Supreme Court for a ride by spinning webs of theories and illusions, passing them off as FACTS. This is exactly what Rahul is also doing. BUT, he os speaking to gullible, ignorant voters. Hence, HE got away with it. These guys were trying to impress the Supreme Court itself with cobwebs of myths. Naturally, they failed.

  2. From TOI Page 15, 15 December 2018

    “On April 10, 2015, an Indo-French joint statement for acquisition of 36 Rafale jets in flyaway condition through an inter-governmental agreement was issued and the same was approved by DAC (Defence Acquisition Committee). The RFP (Request For Procurement) for 126 Rafale jets was finally withdrawn in June 2015.”

    (The full forms of DAC and RFP have been added by me, they are not there in the quoted part of the Times of India article).

    This means, 1) first came the declaration, 2) then the approval by DAC, 3) then the withdrawal of RFP.

    Shouldn’t this have happened in EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE SEQUENCE????

    This question still remains, despite the so called clean chit by the Supreme Court. Does the above not show that the decision was not taken in a fair manner, or was taken by Mr Modi arbitrarily? HAD THE THREAT PEECEPTION TO THE COUNTRY CHANGED? Was the number reduced from 126 to 36 by the IAF independently, and then Mr Modi had gone ahead with the deal?

    It will always remain surprising — and unacceptable to commonsense — how the SC could conclude that “established procedures were followed” in this Rafale order.

  3. There was a lot of insinuations against the previous CJI by our English speaking press, liberals.
    A similar insinuations campaign should be started by these nincompoops against the present CJI.

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