Rafale case: SC dismisses review petitions, BJP, Congres trade charges

Rafale case: SC dismisses review petitions, BJP, Congres trade charges

Rafale case: SC dismisses review petitions, BJP, Congres trade charges
November 15
12:34 2019

early a year after the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the Center in the Rafale case, the apex court Thursday dismissed a clutch of review petitions challenging its 2018 verdict. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in its order said that the petition “lacked merit” and there was no need to file an FIR. 

The review petitions were filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan, and the other by AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh. The petitions called for a court-monitored investigation into the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from French company Dassault Aviation.

The clean chit comes just months after the French company organised an official hand over ceremony for the fighter aircraft attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The company is set to deliver the aircraft to India which will be inducted into the Air Force as a frontline defence mechanism.   BJP stand vindicated, Congress calls for independent investigation

Hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the petitions, Home Minister Amit Shah attacking Congress, said that the court’s decision “reaffirms Modi sarkar’s credentials as a govt which is transparent and corruption-free.” In a series of tweets Shah said, Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the review petition on Rafale is a befitting reply to those leaders and parties who rely on malicious and baseless campaigns. Today’s decision, yet again, reaffirms Modi sarkar’s credentials as a govt which is transparent and corruption-free. Now, it has been proved that the disruption of Parliament over Rafale was a sham. The time could have been better utilised for the welfare of people. After today’s rebuke from SC, Congress and its leader, for whom politics is above national interest must apologise to the nation.”

Several leaders including Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the opposition for their stand over the Rafale deal. Prasad alleged that former Congress president “Rahul Gandhi had misled the nation”. “Opposition lost in the court as well as in polls. French President Emmanuel Macron also rejected the claims made by some of the Congress leaders. Rahul Gandhi has misled the country and should apologise,” Prasad said. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had come under a heavy attack from the opposition during her term in the Defence Ministry in Modi 1.0 also took shots at Gandhi asking him to apologise to the country.

The Congress had launched its electoral campaign for the 2019 general elections around the Rafale deal, accusing massive corruption on the part of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meanwhile, the grand old party said that the court order now paves way for an independent investigation. Rahul citing the Court’s observation said “Justice Joseph of the Supreme Court has opened a huge door into the investigation of the Rafale scam. An investigation must now begin in full earnest. A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) must also be set up to probe this scam.”

Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the court has made it clear that its hands might be bound by constitutional boundaries, but not that of an independent investigation agency. Congress has alleged that the Modi government renegotiated the deal finalised during the UPA rule and the 36 aircraft are being purchased at a much higher rate than one negotiated for 126 jets.

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