Rafale deal No question of FIR registration or CBI probe says Centre

first_imgSHARE The Centre also said the petitioners have not disclosed any new evidence in the review petition The Centre told the Supreme Court on Sunday that there was no question of either registration of a first information report (FIR) or an investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Rafale fighter jets deal. The apex court had already concluded that there was no reason for intervention by it on the “sensitive issue”.The Centre said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report “belied” the main arguments of petitioners regarding alleged “exorbitant price” of the jets. It had sought the dismissal of petitions seeking review of the December 14 last year verdict which gave a clean chit to the Government on the procurement of 36 fighter jets from French firm Dassault. In its 39-page written submissions filed in the top court, the Centre has said that petitioners and former union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist advocate Prashant Bhushan have not made out any ground which would justify review of the “well reasoned” December 14 judgement last year.“Especially, once this court had come to the conclusion that on all the three aspects i.e, the decision making process, pricing and Indian offset partner, there is no reason for intervention by this court on the sensitive issue of purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts by the Indian Government, there is no question of either registration of FIR much less any investigation by the CBI,” the Government said. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on May 10 reserved its verdict on the pleas seeking review of the December 14 judgement in the Rafale case. The apex court, in its December 14 verdict, had said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets and dismissed the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal. Besides Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan, review petitions have also been filed by AAP lawmaker Sanjay Singh and lawyer Vineet Dhandha. In its written submissions, the Centre has said in the garb of seeking review of the verdict and placing reliance on “some press reports and some incomplete internal file noting(s), copies of which were obtained unauthorisedly and illegally”, the petitioners cannot seek to re-open the whole matter since scope of review petition is extremely limited. “The review petition, it is therefore, submitted is an attempt to get a fishing and roving enquiry ordered, which this court has specifically declined to go into based on perceptions of individuals,” it said.The Centre also said the petitioners have not disclosed any new evidence in the review petition except that they have now based their case on some unauthorisedly accessed documents copied from the secret files of the Ministry of Defence. It said files and documents were made available to the CAG who took about two years to complete its study and finalise its report. “The report of the CAG does not support the main argument of petitioners which has been perpetually repeated before this court that the cost of each aircraft under 36 Rafale contract is Rs 1,000 crore higher than what it would have been under the MMRCA bid,” the Centre said.“The basic price of the aircraft has been informed to the Parliament as approximately Rs 670 crore at prevailing exchange rate of November, 2016; without associated equipments, weapons, India Specific Enhancements, maintenance support and services,” it said. It also said for the overall aircraft package, the CAG has held that the contract was concluded at a price which is 2.86 per cent lower than the audit aligned price.The Government reiterated that it has no role in the selection of Indian offset partner which is a commercial decision of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). It said monitoring of progress in the government to government process by Prime Minister Office (PMO) cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations. Regarding the petitioners’ claim that government had suppressed and concealed material facts from the apex court, the Centre said these allegations are devoid of merit.“It is submitted that the IGA for 36 Rafale procurement is between the two sovereign nations and the implementation of the project which is on schedule is being closely monitored by both the Governments. The adequate safeguards are built into IGA for ensuring smooth implementation of the project,” it said.“The training of Indian Air Force personnel is underway in France. Any attempt to bring this procurement under cloud may result into delay in implementation of the project and would affect the operational preparedness of Indian Air Force,” the Centre said. Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan had earlier alleged in the apex court that the Centre “wilfully and deliberately” misled the court in the Rafale fighter jet case and this amounted to “wholesale fraud”.On the scope of judicial review, they had said apex court has consistently held that where the allegation is of corruption, procedural violations and mala fide decision making, the court will be well within its right to exercise the jurisdiction. May 26, 2019 COMMENT Published on Rafalecenter_img The Centre said for the overall aircraft package, the CAG has held that the contract was concluded at a price which is 2.86 per cent lower than the audit aligned price Supreme Court of India COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more


Sikkim remains cutoff for 2nd day as multiple landslides block NH31

first_imgSikkim remains cut-off for 2nd day as multiple landslides block NH-31The officials from General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) said significant sections of the hills have collapsed and blocked the highway at five locations between Setijhora and Kalijhora in West Bengal.advertisement Press Trust of India GangtokJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 21:52 IST In Sikkim, landslides have occurred near Rangpo and 32 Number on the highway, officials said. (Representational image: PTI)Sikkim remained cut-off from the rest of the country for the second day on Friday as multiple landslides triggered by heavy and continuous rainfall have blocked the arterial NH-31A, officials said.The officials from General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) said significant sections of the hills have collapsed and blocked the highway at five locations between Setijhora and Kalijhora in West Bengal.In Sikkim, landslides have occurred near Rangpo and 32 Number on the highway, they said, adding that the ongoing repair and restoration work is being hampered by heavy and continuous rains.The MeT Department has warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim.Also Read | Indian Army rescues over 2,500 stranded tourists in SikkimAlso Read | Floods affect 4 lakh in Assam, 10 dead across northeast as rains lash region Also Watch | In Depth: Decoding the link between floods and droughtsFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShifa Naseer Tags :Follow SikkimFollow Landslide Nextlast_img read more


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