New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Supreme Court of India on Friday dismissed all petitions filed against the $8.7 billion Rafale fighter jet deal concluded with France under government-to-government negotiations in 2016. The Court said that there was no reason to doubt the process through which the Rafale deal was finalised.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi chairing the three-judge bench said that country could not afford to be unprepared in defence matters, under which the acquisition of fighter aircraft falls, and that it can't sit in the appeal for every matter of such acquisitions.
"We find nothing amiss in the Rafale deal and find no evidence of favoritism of any kind," ruled the Supreme Court.
"We cannot ask the government to go for 126 aircraft", the Court said.
The Court has also cleared the selection of offset partner for the deal, a matter that had come under massive attack from the opposition parties. The opposition parties had claimed that the government had favoured private entities as offset partners in the deal.
The Indian National Congress claims that the price of each Rafale jet negotiated under the erstwhile government led by Manmohan Singh was INR 526 crore ($79.065 million, approx.) which, under the present deal struck with France by the Modi government, has gone up to INR 1670 crore ($251.024 million approx.)