Case Description

The Supreme Court is assessing whether to order a court-monitored investigation of the Rafale Fighter Jet Deal, where the Central government purchased 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets.

Background

The Supreme Court is assessing whether to admit the matter.

 

The petitioner, Supreme Court Advocate ML Sharma, claims that the Rafale Fighter Jet Deal suffers from serious procedural irregularities. He and the other petitioners brought forward the following concerns:

  • Did Prime Minister Modi make a decision to go ahead with the deal without the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security.
  • Was Reliance Defence made Dassault Aviation's Indian Offset Partner without the approval of Minister of Defence, as required by the Defence Offset Guidelines?
  • Was Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Dassault's previously proposed Indian partner, improperly removed from the deal? HAL has over 60 years of experience in air-craft manufacturing. Reliance Defence has none.
  • Is the deal in fact an inter-governmental deal between India and France? And if it is, does this allow the Central government to forego discolsing the details of the deal, in violation of the Comptoller and Auditor General's (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Act?

 

The Central government claims it signed an inter-governmental agreement in September 2016 with France. The Central government procured 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets for Rs. 58,000 Crore.

 

The Supreme Court has tagged the following matters:

  • Vineet Dhanda v Union of India, WP(C) 1205/2018
  • Tehseen S Poonawalla v Union of India Cabinet Secretary, WP (C) 290/2018

 

On 14th November 2018, the Supreme Court reserved the matter for judgment.

Issues

1. Did Prime Minister Modi fail to get permission from the Cabinet Committee on Security, prior to agreeing to the Rafale Fighter Jet Deal?

2. Did the Central Government propose Reliance Defence Ltd as Dassault Aviation's Indian Offset Partner without the approval of the Minister of Defence, as required by Clause 8.6 of the Defence Offset Guidelines?

3. Does the Rafale Fighter Jet Deal suffer from pricing irregularities?

4. Is the Rafale Fighter Jet Deal and inter-governmental agreement between India and France?

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