SC Washes Its Hands Of Rafale Jet Deal Rview
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed petitions seeking review of its December 14, 2018 verdict which had upheld purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets by the Indian government and observed that it is not their function to determine the prices of jets.
A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the pleas as they were bereft of ‘merit’.
A batch of petitions, filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and others, sought CBI probe into the purchase of Rafale jets. The review was sought on the grounds that judgment contained several errors.
The bench, also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph, further held that matter cannot be dealt with because of “mere suspicion” by the petitioners.
“Insofar as the aspect of pricing is concerned, the court satisfied itself with the material made available. It is not the function of this Court to determine the prices,” the bench observed.
The top court added, “On the perusal of documents we had found that one cannot compare apples and oranges. Thus, the pricing of the basic aircraft had to be compared which was competitively marginally lower. As to what should be loaded on the aircraft or not and what further pricing should be added has to be left to the best judgment of the competent authorities.”