SC adjourns hearing in Rafale review petitions till May 10

The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned till May 10 hearing in the review petitions filed against the top court's December 14 judgment on the Rafale deal.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi adjourned hearing in the review petitions challenging the December 14 order of the top court where it had given a clean chit to the Rafale deal.

On Saturday, the Centre had filed an affidavit before the top court and claimed, "Monitoring of the progress by PMO of government process cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations. The then Hon'ble Raksha Mantri had recorded on file that ...it appears that PMO and French President's office are monitoring the progress of the issues which was an outcome of the summit meeting."

Centre had also claimed that the court's judgment upholding the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France was correct. It said that unsubstantiated media reports and internal file notings, deliberately projected in a selective manner, cannot form the basis for a review.

Citing a CAG report tabled in the Parliament in February this year, the government said, "The reasonability of the price for 36 Rafale through the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) has been established by CAG audit. The price discovery of 126 MMRCA was determined out of a global competitive tender."

"The CAG in its report tabled in the Parliament on February 13, 2019, has brought out that 'usually, in the IGAs for defence capital assets, there are no comparable costs'," it said.

The affidavit had come in after the apex court on Tuesday directed the Centre to file a response on the pleas challenging the top court's judgment.

On December 14, 2018, the Supreme Court had dismissed all petitions seeking court-monitored probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal with France, saying that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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