AAP MP moves SC over Rafale deal (Lead)
New Delhi : Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh on Monday moved the Supreme Court demanding an apex court monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into India's purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France.
"A Criminal Writ Petition has been filed before the Supreme Court in the Rafale Deal, praying for the issuance of the Writ of Mandamus to constitute a Supreme Court monitored SIT to look into the reasons for cancellation of the deal for 126 Rafales, whether any criminal conspiracy was there to benefit the new offset partner and whether the government had required permission and sanctions for the purchase of 36 Rafales in flyaway condition.
"Apparently, the government had not followed the rules made by it, the DPP," the MP said in a statement.
Singh's petition questioned how the figure of 36 Fighter jets was arrived at "without the formalities associated with such a highly sensitive defence procurement".
The MP demanded to know why Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was removed from the deal.
The petition said an investigation was needed to see if any "individual or intermediary company has/have influenced the decision making of the purchase of Rafale fighter jets at substantially higher prices in the backdrop of the statement given by the then President of French Republic".
Singh sought restoration of the earlier deal for the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets which was cancelled on June 24, 2015 and to "bar" the Dassault-Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) from manufacturing the Rafale jets.
Last month, Singh had sent a legal notice to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over alleged irregularities in the deal and threatened to move the court if he did not receive replies to his questions on various issues connected with the deal.