Indian SC declines to hear fresh plea for probe into Rafale deal

New Delhi, August 29 (KMS): The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a fresh plea for a probe into the 2016 Rafale fighters jet deal on the basis of new revelations by a French portal that manufacturers Dassault Aviation paid approximately one million Euro to middlemen.

A bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Butt said in view of the previous judgement by a three-judge bench rejecting a similar plea, the instant matter can’t be entertained.

Sharma, for his part, repeatedly pleaded that there were reports on payment of bribes and that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) may be asked to examine it.

“When I filed this plea in 2021, it was found that Dassault had paid a sum to secure the contract. Rule of law applies for cancellation of the contract. This plea is to issue letters for rogatory and so the documents can be brought in,” he submitted.

He further claimed if the French agency said 1 billion euros was paid as a bribe, then we need to see those papers and thus letters of rogatory needed. “I don’t have any personal agenda,” he said. The court, however, remained unbudged and declined to entertain the petition, saying “you can’t keep filing such petitions”. In his petition, Sharma made Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sushen Mohan Gupta of Defsys Solutions Pvt Ltd, and Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) parties in the matter.

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