SC refuses to entertain PIL seeking fresh probe into Rafale deal between India, France
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking a fresh probe into the deal between India and France for the procurement of 36 Rafale jets.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat considered lawyer M L Sharma's submission that a direction for issuing a letters rogatory to collect fresh evidence relating to the deal be issued. He also referred to some media reports alleging that one billion Euros was paid by Dassault Aviation to a middleman to get the deal in its favour.
The bench refused to consider the fresh PIL. Sharma then decided to withdraw the PIL.
On December 14, 2018, the apex court had dismissed a batch of PILs challenging the deal between India and France for the procurement of 36 Rafale jets, saying there was no occasion to "really doubt the decision making process" warranting setting aside of the contract.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore, and the offset obligations were part of the contract.
As a part of the deal, 50 per cent of the total contract value has to be reinvested in India as offsets in each year between September 2019 and September 2022.