Supreme Court dismisses all pleas against Rafale deal; Opposition demands JPC probe

In its verdict on Friday the Supreme Court said pricing details had been shared with the CAG and the report of the CAG had been examined by the PAC

Congress said the Supreme Court was not the forum to rule on such a sensitive defense contract.

The Hindu nationalist BJP on Friday welcomed the verdict as "a slap in the face for the politics of lies".

The deal has become a major political issue in India with main opposition Indian National Congress party accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of buying the aircraft at almost three times the price being negotiated when it was in power before Modi came to power in 2014. "The government has not followed the proper procedure in the court", said the Congress leader. What if new facts emerge later? The Supreme Court order clearly says that today's judgment is "primarily from the standpoint of the exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India which has been invoked in the present group of cases". The hearing in the case was concluded last week as the court reserved its judgment.

Nothing prevents Rahul Gandhi and his supporters from continuing to question the deal.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told an Indian newspaper ahead of a visit Friday that there was no pressure from the Indian government to choose local partners.

BJP President Amit Shah: If Congress had all the proof then why did they not go to the Supreme Court with it? The Congress government had charged that government never shared the CAG report to Parliament Accounts Committee. "That the court has relied on such communication which is factually incorrect on 3 counts shows how unsafe it is for the court to rely on statements made in a sealed cover (not subject to scrutiny or verification) and give its judgement on that basis", Bhushan alleged.

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While it is certainly true that CAG is performing a financial audit of the Rafale deal, the report has not been tabled in Parliament - redacted or otherwise - so far.

"Will soon summon Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and the CAG", Kharge said while addressing reporters here.

After the three petitions were filed, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie alongwith activist advocate Prashant Bhushan had moved the apex court with a plea for a direction to the CBI to register FIR for alleged irregularities in the deal.

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Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Mallikarjun Kharge should file an affidavit or review petition in court saying he did not receive the CAG report in regard with the Rafale deal and the committee has not examined it, said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy on Saturday.

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