The top court said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion-dollar aircraft deal. (File photo)
In a setback to the Opposition Congress, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed all the petitions seeking a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR for alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal even as the party would want to believe that it was not a setback and would continue to press for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe. Just after the top court announced its verdict, the Congress took to Twitter and said that it would continue its demand for a JPC to investigate the scam.
The Supreme Court has clearly stated that it is outside their jurisdiction to probe into the #RafaleDeal. We continue our demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the #RafaleScam. Sign this petition to demand transparency: https://t.co/NnqEJCCgOX— Congress (@INCIndia) December 14, 2018
Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the government getting a clean chit on the Rafale deal is not a setback as the issue is still live in the "people's court" and the Congress will continue to raise it in Parliament.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said that the Supreme Court had not commented on many important aspects and that they will continue to demand a JPC probe into the Rafale deal.
#RafaleDeal | There is no reason for PM and BJP govt to celebrate Supreme Court order which in itself is contradictory. Honourable SC has said it won't be proper for it to go into details: ANI quoting Congress leader Anand Sharma.— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) December 14, 2018
LIVE updates: https://t.co/JkWlOOWk8B pic.twitter.com/KPdxJPwCZl
The top court bench, comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion-dollar aircraft deal. On the issue of offset partner, the bench said there was no substantial evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.
The CJI, who read out the judgment for the three-judge bench, said no reasons were found to interfere in the procurement process for the fighter jets. And that there has been a necessity for fighter aircraft and the country cannot remain without jets. The apex court said it is not the job of the court to deal with the comparative details of the pricing.