Rafale deal: Supreme Court begins hearing, petitioners to respond to Centre’s documents

File photo of a French Airforce Rafale fighter Jet. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 14, 2018, 11.08 AM (IST)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday began examining the documents submitted by the Centre on the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph is holding the crucial hearing in the case during which the petitioners, who have sought a court-monitored investigation into the deal, will also make submissions.

The initial arguments are being commenced by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, who told the court that the Inter Government Agreement was "illegal" and sought an investigation in the matter.

The bench is likely to peruse the pricing details submitted by the government in a sealed cover.

On Monday, the Centre handed over a 14-page document to the Supreme Court came after discussions between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Attorney General KK Venugopal, reports said.

The court had earlier directed the central government to apprise it of the steps taken in the decision-making process related to the Rafale Deal.

The petitioners are likely to respond to the contents of the documents in which it has been stated by the government that the deal for 36 Rafale jets were negotiated on "better terms" and the Defence Procurement Procedure laid out in 2013 were "completely followed".

(With inputs from PTI)