New govt. submits final response in Rafale case

The newly-elected NDA government has filed the final written submission in the Rafale fighter jet case, asking the Supreme Court to dismiss the review petitions.

Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist advocate Prashant Bhushan had sought review of the apex court’s December 14 verdict which gave a clean chit to the Centre’s Rafale deal to procure fighter jets from French firm Dassault. The trio had said that the Centre “wilfully and deliberately” misled the court and this amounted to “wholesale fraud”.

Filing a written submission in the case, the government asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition as “any interference may affect operational preparedness of Indian Air Force”. The Centre said that the review petitions were based on “flimsy and unfounded grounds”.

They said that the CAG report backs government’s move. Attorney General KK Venugopal had earlier also referred to the report and said that it has been found that the government got the jets at 2.86 per cent lower price. The government added that there was no error in apex court’s earlier judgment.

During the arguments on May 10, Bhushan had alleged suppression of material facts from the court by the Centre and said that as many eight critical clauses of the standard defence procurement procedure were dropped in the deal in the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security in September 2016.

Attorney General KK Venugopal had vehemently opposed the submissions and sought dismissals of the review pleas saying that the basic grounds of these pleas were the same as in the main case.

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