SC adjourns hearing on Rafale fighter jet deal

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing seeking probe into the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault. A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph put the plea for consideration on October 10.

Petitioner M L Sharma told the apex court bench that he wants to file some additional documents in the case and therefore the matter should be adjourned. “Now you are talking about filing an additional affidavit but the letter you circulated seeking adjournment is saying you are unwell,” said Justice Gogoi. “You have missed the bus.”

In his petition, Sharma has alleged discrepancies in the fighter jet deal with France and sought a stay on it. Initially, the court fixed October 22 as the next date of hearing but as Sharma urged for an early date,the court later advanced it to October 10.

He sought quashing of the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an “outcome of corruption” and not ratified by Parliament under Article 253. India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore.

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