New Delhi: A fresh petition against the controversial Rafale deal between India and France will be heard by the Supreme Court on Wednesday. A bench comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph on Monday said that it will hear the petition freshly filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda. The lawyer wants the center to disclose the details pertaining to 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 awarded to Reliance by Dassault of France.
Along with this plea, the Supreme court will also here another plea on October 10 filed earlier by Advocate M L Sharma and alleges discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and also seeks a stay on it.
In his petition, Mr. Sharma claimed that the inter-government agreement to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets must be declared invalid as it was an “outcome of corruption” and not ratified by parliament under Article 253 (parliament has power to make any law for implementing any inter-government agreement) of the Constitution.
In March this year, a similar petition was filed in the Apex court which sought for an independent probe into the Rafale deal and also the disclosure of the cost involved in the deal before Parliament.
The petition was filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla and it sought a direction against the Central government on why an approval was not sought from the Union Cabinet as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the procurement deal with France on September 23, 2016.
Rafale deal was a part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment and a defence agreement signed between the Indian and French governments to buy the 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts in a fly-away condition.
The Rafale fighter is manufactured by the French aerospace company Dassault Aviation and is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA)
A proposal was advanced by the Indian Air Force to purchase a total of 126 fighter aircraft in August 2007 and floated a tender in this regard. Soon after this, an invitation was sent to various aviation companies around the world to participate in the bidding process.
Due to the allegations by various political parties and others, the Rafale deal has become a controversial one.