The Supreme Court on Friday, December 14, 2018, gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi Government on its decision to procure 36 fully loaded Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation.
The bench comprises of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph, while dismissing PILs said:
“In view of our findings on all three aspects, and having heard the matter in detail, we find no reason for any intervention by this court on the sensitive issue of purchase of 36 defence aircraft by Indian government”
While dismissing all the writ petitions, the Court also rejected allegations of commercial favouritism shown to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Aerostructure Ltd as Dassault’s Indian Offset Partner.
The Chief Justice of India in 29 page judgement recorded that the deal conformed to the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) of 2013.
The issue raised when the NDA Government had dismissed the UPA regime’s deal for 126 Rafale jets and signed a new inter-governmental agreement for 36 jets on September 23, 2016.
Allegation of corruption surfaced nearly 2 years later and sharpened when former French President Francois Hollande alleged that the Indian government had influenced the selection of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Aerostructure Ltd an offset partner.