The Supreme Court dismissed all petitions calling for an investigation into the purchase of Rafale warplanes by the government and said that processes were broadly followed by the government while signing a multi-billion dollar deal with France’ France’s Dassault Aviation.
The verdict provides a huge relief for the Narendra Modi government, which was facing uneasy questions on the deal, and delivers a big blow to the plans of the opposition parties to make the deal an issue in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
The court said on Friday that while there could be minor deviations, a detailed scrutiny into the deal was not required and added that there was no evidence to suggest that the government favoured certain private parties. "We don't find any material to show it is commercial favouritism," Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
The court said it has examined the decision-making process, pricing and the induction of billionaire Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the offset partner of Dassault.
CNBC-TV18 caught up with Sanjay Jha, Congress and Shaina NC, spokesperson, BJP to understand their perspective on the judgement.
Sanjay Jha said if anybody has to apologise to the people of India, it has to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"I am going to repeat this and we say this with full responsibility, Rafale is a massive scam, the biggest defence scam since India became independent," Jha said, adding that the Congress party was not a party to the petitions in the Supreme Court.
Shaina NC said the SC verdict is not a question of victory or defeat.
"You have four petitioners with four petitions and the Supreme Court clearly on record said that there has been no commercial favouritism," she said, adding that the details on the pricing that needed to be submitted to the Supreme Court have been submitted post which they said that they are not going to divulge into what should be the pricing and the documents have been provided in court.