oppn parties Scorpene Leaks: Expeditious, Transparent and Impartial Inquiry Needed

News Snippets

  • 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.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Scorpene Leaks: Expeditious, Transparent and Impartial Inquiry Needed

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.
Despite Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar’s assurance that there is nothing to worry about the leak of classified papers of design and capability of the Scorpene submarine and that the Indian navy is addressing all issues, nagging concerns remain on two counts – one, how such classified information could be leaked and from where and two, how will it compromise India’s naval plans and its proposed use of the six submarines under production and the two more that it wanted to buy.

Military hardware purchases, especially those of cutting edge technology that promise to give one an advantage over the enemy, are backed by specific agreements about maintaining total secrecy about the deal. Normally, in hi-tech defence contracts of such importance and value, sealed lips are the norm and conditional agreements are made where no-sale or even pitches to certain countries are written in. In such circumstances, the leaks have no doubt compromised India’s security plans, especially since the Scorpenes were to be the mainstay of the Indian navy’s sub-surface fleet for the next two decades or so. The leaked data about design and capability will definitely help India’s enemies to source a better submarine on the one hand and neutralize the Scorpene in a war scenario through such advance information on the other. In the worst case scenario, India might have to dump the submarines and write-off the investment of Rs 23000 cr. Any attempt to salvage the deal at the cost of the nation’s security is neither advisable nor, obviously, will it be undertaken.

But what is definitely needed is for the government to conduct an impartial and transparent inquiry into the leaks. Often, such inquiries yield little because it takes years to complete one due to overlapping jurisdictions, the need to get court orders to demand information from third parties and other hurdles in the form of people wanting to protect their backs and organizations their turf. But since the Scorpene leaks involve a matter of national security, India will have to expedite the inquiry and get to the bottom of the sabotage. If needed, there should also be an inquiry conducted by a joint parliamentary committee after an expert committee submits its report.