In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre’s Narendra Modi government to explain how decisions were made on purchasing the 36 Rafale fighter jets.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that whilst it was not issuing notice to the government, it wanted to satisfy ‘ourselves on the steps taken in the decision-making.’
“We are not issuing notice to the government. We make it clear that the court isn’t taking into account arguments made by the petitioner. Their arguments are grossly inadequate,” the top court said, asserting that it would not go into the pricing or suitability of the jets.
“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 bench was quoted by NDTV.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph also said that the PIL filed by advocated ML Sharma and Vineet Dhanda were inadequate.
Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the international treaties weren’t subject to judicial reviews. “This is not a judicially reviewable issue. courts do not interfere with international treaties….for a domestic court to interfere with one would not be appropriate…,” Venugopal said, according to a report by LiveLaw.
The petitioners have alleged massive scam in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale jets deal with the French company Dassault Aviation. The topic gained considerable momentum after Former French President Francois Hollande dropped a bombshell revealing that the decision to choose Anil Ambani’s Reliance as the Indian offset partner was taken at the behest of the Modi government.