oppn parties Rafale Deal: More Twists And Turns

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Rafale Deal: More Twists And Turns

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The controversy over the Supreme Court order on the Rafale deal took a fresh turn today when the government applied to the court for correction of its order. The government claimed that the court had misinterpreted several statements provided to it in a sealed cover to give the impression that the CAG report on pricing had been examined by the PAC or that the redacted portion was placed before Parliament. The government says that it had only said that it “is” done as a matter of course which the court took to mean that it had been done in actuality.

The main thrust of the Congress criticism of the Supreme Court judgment is that the government has misled the Supreme Court about the CAG report which does not exist and which has not been shown either to the PAC or placed before Parliament. Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly asked the government to show the public the CAG report or provide information of when it was placed before Parliament. With the government application for correction of the order, both these charges become infructuous.

While delivering the judgment, the court had taken pains to clarify that any judicial review of defence contracts cannot be an in-depth examination of policy decisions, saying that “the parameter of scrutiny would give far more leeway to the Government, keeping in mind the nature of procurement itself.” It also said that it had limited its review within the jurisdiction granted to it by Article 32 of the Indian constitution as it was invoked by the petitioners.

One feels that the Opposition parties and the petitioners took a wrong decision in approaching the courts for a judicial review. Since a huge amount of public money was involved and the Opposition alleged corruption (which necessarily means payment of kickbacks) the better way would have been to press for a JPC probe, which they are now doing. But one feels that the government will not allow that now, especially since the general elections are due in a few months. The opposition had cornered the government on Rafale in the lead-up to the current elections to the five state assemblies. The government will now hit back with the clean chit given to it by the Supreme Court.