New Delhi: The Supreme Court today will pronounce its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking review of its 2018 order which gave clean chit to Narendra Modi-led government on a plea seeking investigation into alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by India from France.
The verdict will be delivered by a three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph. A brief timeline of the Rafale jet deal case:2007: The UPA government releases tenders for 126 fighters, based on the demand by the Indian Air Force.
January 2012: French company, Dassault Aviation makes the lowest bids for their aircraft Rafale. According to conditions, 126 jets required, of which 18 to be imported in fly-away condition. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) supposed to manufacture the remaining 108 jets with assistance from Dassault.2014: HAL and Dassault sign an agreement. Negotiations carried out however the deal was not finalised.
June 2015- Defence ministry officially withdraws the 126 aircraft deal tender.April 2015: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Paris and announces the decision to buy 36 Rafale fighters.January 2016: French President Francois Hollande visits India on the occasion of Republic Day. A memorandum of understanding on the purchase of Rafale jets signed between India and France.November 2018: A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reserves verdict in the Rafale case after extensive arguments.
December 14, 2018- Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking court-monitored probe into Rafale fighter jet deal, saying that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal. The top court had also said that it was not its job to go into the issue of pricing of fighter planes.
May 2019 -The Supreme Court reserves the order on the pleas filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and others against the top court`s judgment. The Centre had also filed an affidavit seeking dismissal of the review petition after some internal documents of the Defence Ministry related to the Rafale fighter deal came out in a section of the media.
Source: Zee News