In a big win for the Narendra Modi-led government, the Supreme Court on Thursday, November 14, dismissed a review petition seeking a probe into the Rafale deal. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which also included Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, delivered judgment on petitions.
Justice SK Kaul while reading the judgement said that the review petition is without merit. The top court dismissed a plea seeking lodging of an FIR to probe the alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale deal inked with Dassault Aviation.
"We cannot lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with a contract. This court did not consider it appropriate to conduct a roving enquiry in an Article 32 petition," said the apex court in its ruling. "We don't feel necessary to order FIR or roving enquiry into Rafale deal case," added the top court.
Today's development came as a huge relief for the BJP government as it received a lot of flak over the deal after some leaked documents related to the deal surfaced earlier.
The advantages Rafale gives Indian defence
The induction of Rafale multirole air-superiority fighter jets into the Indian Air Force (IAF) puts beyond doubt India's total dominance of the subcontinental airspace, experts say. When Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took delivery of the first of the 36 Rafale warplanes India is buying from French aircraft maker Dassault in Bordeaux on Tuesday, the balance of power in the region was shifting decisively in India's favour.
It is significant that the two squadrons of the twin-engine Rafale warplanes the IAF is buying will be based at Ambala airforce base in Haryana, within earshot of the international border with Pakistan. There have been suggestions that the presence of an advanced fighter like Rafale in such proximity would have deterred the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) from the misadventure of crossing over to Indian air space on February 27 a day after IAF jets bombed the Balakot terror training camp deep inside Pakistani territory of Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa to avenge the Pulwama attack.
India receives first Rafale fighter jet from Dassault
In a historic event, India has officially received the first Rafale combat jet in Bordeaux, France, as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was handed over the fighter jet by Dassault Aviation on Tuesday, October 8.
The Defence Minister took a tour of the manufacturing plant of Dassault Aviation in Merignac before the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first Rafale jet. A traditional Shastra Puja was also performed as a part of Dussehra celebrations before the handover.