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Understanding the Supreme Court's verdict on Rafale deal

Understanding the Supreme Court's verdict on Rafale deal

Understanding the Supreme Court's verdict on Rafale deal
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By CNBC-TV18 Dec 14, 2018 2:06:07 PM IST (Updated)

The clean chit given by the Supreme Court in regard with the Rafale deal comes as a relief to the Narendra Modi government that is recovering from the shocking setback in the recent assembly elections.

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The bench, headed by chief justice Ranjan Gogoi, said in the judgment that it's not the job of the court to scrutinise  details of a deal, which the government claims of having commercial advantage.
'No Doubt On Procurement Process'
Commenting about the decision making process that went behind the procurement, the bench stated there was no reason to doubt the procurement process. While adding that even though there may have been minor deviations, in broader sense, the procurement process went on correctly.
The court also stated that since there is no uniform standard of judicial review when it came to the matter of defense procurement, decisions would have to be made on case to case basis. It also added that when it came to making the judgment, the entire process, including decision making process, pricing and choice of Indian offset partner were taken in to account.
'National Security Important'
The verdict also took in to account the fact that MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal for 126 aircraft did not take off and made it clear that the court cannot sit in judgment of decision to buy 36, not 126 aircrafts.
Underlining the importance of national security, the bench stated that details about national security must be kept under wraps. Hinting towards the lag coming when it came to defense procurements, the bench said the country cannot afford to be unprepared, while adversaries are acquiring 4th and 5th generation fighters.
In regard with the selection of offset partner for the deal, the bench said that a press interview cannot be the basis for a judicial scrutiny. On the allegation that the government had influenced the process for selecting a local partner, the bench made it clear that the government played no role in it as there is no evidence proving otherwise.
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