oppn parties Rafale Deal: More Twists And Turns

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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.