Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Rafale deal: Centre submits price details of aircraft before Supreme Court, blames UPA for delay

New Delhi: The Centre on Monday submitted price details of the Rafale fighter jets in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court. Government sources said the Centre has submitted "all details" about the decisions taken in regards to the Rafale deal.

This was in response to the Supreme Court's direction that the Central government must disclose details of the controversial deal before it. On October 31, the Supreme asked the Centre to provide information on the pricing of Rafale fighter aircraft that India is purchasing from France. The court had given the government 10 days to furnish the reply in a sealed envelope.

The court had asked the government to give details on the "core information" regarding the procurement process to the petitioners.

However, the Centre had argued that some details about the Rafale deal may be sensitive and protected against being made public under the Official Secrets Act. To this, the court said that "details that could legitimately come in [the] public domain" will have to be shared with the petitioners, while the "confidential information" regarding the pricing and the selection of the Indian offset partner will have to be "placed before the court," in a sealed cover.

The court had left it to the government to decide what would be the information "legitimately in public domain" which can be shared with the petitioners but made it clear that all information will have to be shared with the court.
In its submission before the Supreme Court on Monday, the Modi government said that delay by the UPA government in finalising the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) process led to adversaries inducting 4th and 5th generation jets and there was an urgent need to "arrest the decline" in the number of IAF fighter squadrons.

This was stated in the document which the Centre made public to justify the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
12/11/18 India Today

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