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Rafale Deal: SC Seeks Details Of Decision Making Process, Refuses To Issue Official Notice

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| October 10 , 2018 , 12:56 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed its wish to be apprised by the government of India of the steps in the decision-making process followed in the controversial procurement of the 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph however made it clear that the Court is not taking into account any of the allegations in the petitions, and that it is not issuing official notice in the matter.

Attorney General KK Venugopal representing the centre said, “This is a political petition and not a public interest litigation and is part of bitter fight going on between ruling and opposition party. If notice is issued, it will go to PM etc. Please don’t entertain such petitions.”

 He said, “This is a matter of national security, 40 questions were asked in the Parliament which have only been selectively reproduced before your Lordships. If notice is issued, it would be to the Prime Minister and so on, This is not a PIL in the traditional sense where the interests of weaker sections are to be safeguarded….These pleas are political in nature, filed for political gains in the light of the fight between the opposition and the ruling party.”

Venugopal further added, “This is not a judicially reviewable issue. courts do not interfere with international treaties….for a domestic court to interfere with one would not be appropriate.”

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi responding to Venugopal said, “Suppose we ask for the details of the decision-making process in a sealed cover, how would you react? It shall only be for perusal by the judges, without touching on the technological parameters or the suitability in terms of the national events?”

The bench slated the matter for October 31st for further hearing.