Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the keenest commentator of the administration’s arrangement to buy 36 Rafale planes, ventured up his assault on the inside on Thursday. Alluding to reports of the announcement by the administration’s best law officer in the Supreme Court Wednesday, Gandhi seemed to scrutinize the Center’s stand that the Rs 58,000 crore arrangement to purchase 36 warrior planes was a legislature to-government bargain.
“The most recent skeleton to tumble out of the Rafale organizer: No assurance by the French Govt backing the arrangement yet our PM says there’s a letter from the French promising to be devoted! That is sufficient to consider this a “Govt to Govt” bargain?” Gandhi tweeted.
The Congress president has been requesting that his charges of defilement in the arrangement ought to be examined.
In Supreme Court on Thursday, the candidates assaulted the establishments of the new arrangement, marked by the NDA government in 2016, and declared by Modi in 2015, by asserting it couldn’t be an administration to-government bargain in light of the fact that there was no sovereign certification given by France.
The petitioners, activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, former union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and advocates ML Sharma and Vineet Dhanda asked for an investigation on four grounds: lack of transparency over the pricing of the jets; an offsets deal that seemed to favour a private firm; flouting of due process in closing the deal; and that the deal isn’t a government-to-government deal at all as it has been pitched because France refused to offer India a sovereign guarantee and instead gave it a letter of comfort.
A former government official directly involved in defense purchases said there was nothing unusual about the deal.
“All Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) are subject to negotiations including clauses about dispute resolution and sovereign guarantee. IGAs are negotiated agreements in which nothing is written in stone. There is no standard format. India has bought arms earlier on the basis of a letter of comfort from Russia and other countries as well,” said Amit Cowshish, former chief financial advisor (acquisition).
Attorney General KK Venugopal admitted that the French government did not offer a sovereign guarantee, but had issued a letter of comfort, ensuring the final execution of the deal.
The law officer denied the charge that procedures were violated and said courts could not review the inter-governmental agreement on the judicial side.