New Delhi: Brushing aside strong objections by attorney general K.K. Venugopal, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to submit pricing details and the cost of 36 Rafale jets in the agreement signed with the French government in a sealed envelope in 10 days.
Further, in a major embarrassment, a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, asked the government to provide details which can be put in the public domain, i.e. shared with the petitioners who are seeking a CBI probe into the deal. The government, which will face the SC again on November 12, has so far refused to disclose details of the pricing negotiation for Rafale jets.
The Bench, which also included Justices Uday Lalit and K.M. Joseph, also asked the government to share as far as possible, with the petitioners and the public, the selection process for the Indian offset partner (if any) in the defence deal.
This would mean that the government now has to reveal details of the agreement entered into by Dassault Aviation with Anil Ambani’s Reliance group.
When the A-G said that some of the information contained in the report that is to be handed to the court in a “sealed cover” is covered under the Official Secrets Act, the Bench said that such details might not be given to the petitioners’ advocates....