Centre claims, “It’s for experts to review Rafale deal, not court”

Centre claims, “It’s for experts to review Rafale deal, not court”

Centre’s top law officer asked, is the Supreme Court capable to judicially review the Rafale fighter jet deal, as the top court held a number of petitions demanding an investigation into India’s fighter jet deal with France. The law officer continues that that “matter is for experts to decide on, not the court.”

On Monday, the center-ruled Modi government had submitted a sealed cover, in which it had detailed the reason to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France aircraft manufacturing company, Dassault at Rs. 59000 crores.

The pricing detailed submitted by centre to the Supreme Court and petitioners, who have asked for the probe, centre claims have been classified the pricing details in a sealed cover.

Defending the Secrecy clauses regarding the detailed pricing of Rafale fighter jets, today the Attorney General KK Venugopal said that “our adversaries may get an advantage if the entire details on the pricing are disclosed.”

Refused to divulge details on the aspect of pricing, Mr. Venugopal said that he would be unable to further assist the Supreme Court over the pricing issue.

He continued that “I decided not to peruse it myself as in a case of any leak, my office would be held responsible.”

“Even the parliament has not been told about the complete cost of jets,” added Mr. Venugopal. His reply came after lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, who is one of the petitioners, accused that the centre was hiding the pricing detail behind the secrecy clause and does not want to disclose the price of the Rafale fighter jets.

Mr. Bhushan claims that the price of per aircraft was 155 million Euro and now centre shows it at 270 million Euro, which suggest a hike of 40 percent in its pricing.

The Supreme Court said that any discussion on the price of Rafale fighter jets will be taken under consideration if it thinks that the issue is entering into public domains.

After the justice-bench asked for the assistance of an Air Force Officer over the issue, Commander-in-Chief Alok Khosla and Deputy Chief of Air Staff VR Chowdhury appeared to the top court to respond to the questions from the justice-bench.

by Chandrani Sarkar on November 14, 2018

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