Rafale not for ornamentation, says Centre; SC reserves review plea verdict


New Delhi, May 10: The Centre on Friday argued in Supreme Court that the Rafale deal is a question of national security and such defence deals are not examined in court the world over.
“This (Rafale fighter) is not for ornamentation. This is an essential requirement for protection of each and everyone of us… Nowhere in the world will any such matter be brought before court,” KK Venugopal, the centre’s top law officer, told the judges.
The top court, which had also heard the three petitioners earlier, has reserved its order. The court has asked both sides to file their written submissions within two weeks.
The review petitions had asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its December 14 verdict rejecting a court-monitored probe of the Rafale deal.
In the last hearing on May 4, the Centre argued in an affidavit filed in the top court that the petition was tantamount to questioning a sovereign decision related to national security and defence.
The top court had on December 14 dismissed all petitions seeking a court-monitored probe of the Rs 59,000 crore contract for Rafale fighter planes made by Dassault Aviation of France. The court had said that there was no reason to doubt the decision-making process. The petitioners had alleged fiscal malfeasance and commercial favouritism in the deal.
Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan had moved the Supreme Court for a review of the verdict, saying the ruling contained errors and relied on incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover to the court. (Courtesy: HT)