SC to hear plea against Rafale deal next week

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New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea seeking a stay on the Rafale fighter jet deal next week.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that the plea would be heard next week, after considering advocate M.L. Sharma's mention for his plea for urgent hearing.

Sharma, in his plea, sought an FIR and prosecution of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Defence Minister and current Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, businessman Anil Ambani and French armament firm Dassault with recovery of the amount.

The lawyer sought a stay on the fighter jet deal between India and France while alleging discrepancies.

The plea seeks that the inter-government agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets must be quashed as it was an "outcome of corruption" and not ratified by the Parliament under Article 253 of the Constitution.

In March, a similar plea was filed in the top court by Congress leader Tehseen S. Poonawalla, seeking direction against the Centre as to why the Union Cabinet's approval was not sought as part of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) before signing the deal with France on September 23, 2016.

The Rafale deal is a defence agreement signed between India and France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of the Indian Air Force equipment.