Rafale deal: SC asks Centre to submit in a sealed cover details of decision-making process

It, however, clarifies that it does not want information on pricing and technical particulars.

October 10, 2018 11:43 am | Updated November 28, 2021 09:14 am IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 18/07/2011: View of the Supreme Court Building, in New Delhi on July 18, 2011.  Photo: V. Sudershan

NEW DELHI, 18/07/2011: View of the Supreme Court Building, in New Delhi on July 18, 2011. Photo: V. Sudershan

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to submit details of the decision-making process in the Rafale deal with France in a sealed envelope by October 29. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, clarified that it was not asking for information on the price of the fighter jets and technical particulars.

“We are not on the issue of pricing and suitability of the Rafale jets but only on the decision-making process,” the Bench, also comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, said.

The Supreme Court, which was hearing various petitions seeking an investigation into the controversial fighter jet deal, also said that it was not issuing any formal notice to the Centre.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal opposed the petitions, saying that they were politically motivated and should be dismissed. Mr. Venugopal stressed that the details of the deal cannot be shown to anybody in the interest of national security and other issues related to the defence procurement process.

Twin-engine plane

Rafale is a twin-engine medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by Dassault Aviation, a French firm.


Advocate M.L. Sharma, one of the petitioners, has sought a stay on the deal. Terming it as an “outcome of corruption”, Mr. Sharma called for quashing of the deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets.

Another petitioner Vineet Dhanda, also a lawyer, expressed satisfaction at the Supreme Court’s order. “In a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) petition, my role is to bring an issue to the notice of the court.

The court has perhaps also taken note of my plea regarding submission of documents in a sealed envelope. After it goes through the documents, I am sure, the truth will come out,” Mr. Dhanda said.

The top court was also simultaneously hearing a petition by Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of the Supreme Court to probe the reasons for cancellation of the earlier deal for the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets.


Mr. Singh wants the SIT to probe how the figure of 36 jets was arrived at, without the formalities associated with such a highly sensitive defence procurement.

A separate plea was moved before the top court by Congress leader Tehseen S. Poonawalla seeking issuance of a direction against the Centre on why the Union Cabinet’s approval was not sought as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the deal with France on September 23, 2016. Mr. Poonawalla later withdrew his petition. 

The top court has fixed the petitions for further hearing on October 31.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.