A Rafale fighter jet, manufactured by Dassault Aviation SA, prepares to land following an aerial display. (Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg)

Supreme Court To Hear Plea Seeking Stay On Rafale Deal Next Week

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear next week a plea seeking a stay on the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submissions of advocate ML Sharma that his plea is listed for urgent hearing.

In his petition, Sharma has alleged discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and sought a stay on it.

Sharma has claimed in his plea that the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an “outcome of corruption” and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253 (Parliament has the power to make any law for implementing any inter-government agreement) of the Constitution.

Also read: Rahul Gandhi And Arun Jaitley Spar Over Rafale Deal

The petition has also sought an FIR and prosecution of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Defence Minister and present Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, business leader Anil Ambani and French armament firm Dassault.

A similar plea was filed in the apex court in March this year seeking an independent probe into the Rafale deal and disclosure of the cost involved in the deal before Parliament.

The plea, filed by Congress leader Tehseen S Poonawalla, had sought issuance of a direction against the Centre as to why the Union Cabinet's approval was not sought as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure before signing the procurement deal with France on Sept. 23, 2016.

Also read: Congress Peddling Untruth On Rafale, Compromising National Security: Jaitley

Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between the governments of India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts in a fly-away condition as a part of the process of upgrading Indian Air Force’s equipment.

Also read: Reliance Says Rafale Contract Received From Dassault, Not Defence Ministry