Rafale hearing: top IAF officers appear before SC

Rafale hearing: top IAF officers appear before SC

Supreme Court

Top Indian Air Force officers on Wednesday appeared before the Supreme Court to claim that no fresh weaponry has been bought in medium range combat aircraft, since induction of Mirage in 1985.

They also pointed out Sukhoi (inducted in 1997) and Light Combat Aircraft (2017) was of third-and-half generation machine, though there was a requirement of fifth generation of equipment at present.

In a rare occasion, a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Attorney General K K Venugopal why no officer was present during the hearing on a batch of petitions related to the Union government's agreement to buy Rafale fighter jets.

In post lunch session, four senior officers, including Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Anil Khosla, Air Marshall V R Chaudhari, J Chelapati, were present.

Chelapati, who was associated with procurement decision, was specifically asked by the CJI himself about the aircraft being used in the IAF. He said Sukhois and Light Combat Aircraft was inducted regularly as being made in India.

“The Air Marshal and Vice-Marshals can go back. It is a different war game here in court. Let you go back to your war rooms,” the bench said, after a brief question-answer sessions.

During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the Rafale aircraft was being used by France, Egypt and Qatar.

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