Fresh PIL for CBI probe into Rafale deal

A fresh PIL was filed on Wednesday in the Supreme Court by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking a direction to the CBI to investigate purchase of Rafale fighter aircraft from France in 2015.

They sought a direction to the CBI to register an FIR into their complaint made on October 4.

Notably, the top court, on a separate petition, had on October 10 asked the Union government to provide details of the decision making process in buying 36 Rafale fighter jets, except details of pricing and suitability of the equipment, by October 29 for its “satisfaction”.

In their plea, the petitioners claimed the “public servants presiding over the government” got to increase the contract price of the 36 Rafale aircraft from Rs 715 crore per aircraft as disclosed by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar to Rs 1,660 crore per aircraft to provide pecuniary gains to Anil Ambani's company, Reliance Defence Ltd.

“The accused persons are occupying the highest of public offices...are abusing the high offices they hold to intimidate and influence the officials of the CBI. It is imperative that the CBI be insulated from such adverse influence by directing a court-monitored investigation,” they said in their PIL.

They claimed the high ranking public servants abused their position in making a deal without following the laid down procedures to obtain offset contracts for Anil Ambani. “This has resulted in increase in price of procurement and provided a pecuniary advantage to both —Dassault as well as Ambani’s RAL. This would amount to criminal misconduct under Section 13(1)(d)(ii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act,” their plea stated.

They said that a direction should be issued to the Union government and the CBI not to transfer any official tasked with probing the complaint.

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Fresh PIL for CBI probe into Rafale deal

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