The Supreme Court issued its verdict on the Rafale deal case and said that “there are no proofs or reasons to doubt the decision-making process” of the Rafale jet deal between Indian government and French jet company Dassault, and hence dismissed all petitions seeking investigation in the controversial deal. That’s how the Rs 59000 crore worth deal for 36 jets got away clean, so far.
During UPA governance, the Centre had scrapped a deal of 126 Rafale fighter jets with French jet manufacturer Dassault, costing Rs 750 crore per jet. But the new NDA government claimed to have sealed a better deal with just 36 new and better 5th generation jets – which would cost as much as Rs 1600 crore per jet, with Anil Ambani’s newly formed defence company as an Indian partner. Hence, Congress had alleged that the Centre is scraping offsets from the jet deal and filed petitions in the Supreme Court seeking court-monitored investigation in the Rafale deal case.
Today, a three-judge Supreme Court bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi gave out its verdict on the case saying that “having heard the matter in detail, we find no reason for any intervention by this court on the sensitive issue”. The court dismissed all the petitions filed in the case that seeks court-monitored investigation into the details of the case and disclosure of pricing details of the planes in public domains, saying that “it is not the court’s job to get into pricing details, and that there are no doubts about the quality of the jets”.
The verdict was given by the SC based on conclusion that they “did not find any wrong in selection of Indian offset partners by Dassault – giving out more brownie points to the Modi government. This verdict gives a clean chit to the Centre in all three allegations: the decision to pick Ambani’s Reliance Defence as a partner in the deal, the decision of buying just 36 jets instead of 126 even for a much higher total price and the two-fold prices. A clean getaway indeed.