Reveal pricing, strategic details of Rafale aircraft in 10 days: SC to Centre

The Asian Age.

India, All India

SC asked Centre to disclose information of jet deal which can be legitimately put in public domain.

The order came in response to batch of petitions including a joint plea filed by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with Prashant Bhushan, into the Rafale fighter jet deal. (Representational Image | file)

New Delhi: Supreme Court today asked Centre to give details of the pricing and strategic details of the Rafale aircraft in a sealed cover to court in 10 days.

The court also asked the central government to disclose information of the jet deal which can be legitimately put in public domain and information on induction of Indian off-set partner be furnished to petitioners who filed PILs, reported ANI.

Read: SC to hear Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie's plea on Rafale today

In its order, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, gave some more leeway to the government which has been arguing that pricing details are so sensitive that they have not even been shared with Parliament.

"We would like the details of pricing and cost to be submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover. This may be submitted in the next 10 days," said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

"If pricing is something exclusive and you are not sharing it with us, please file an affidavit and say so," the bench told Attorney General K K Venugopal in its oral observations.

Supreme Court has now fixed the matter for hearing on November 14, said documents considered strategic and confidential may not be shared. 

The order came in response to batch of petitions including a joint plea filed by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with Prashant Bhushan, into the Rafale fighter jet deal.

India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of the Indian Air Force equipment. The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation. Indian Air Force had advanced a proposal to buy 126 fighter aircraft in August 2007 and floated a tender. Following this, an invitation was sent to various aviation companies to participate in the bidding process.

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