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Supreme Court’s Judgment on Review Petitions on Rafale Fighter Aircraft Procurement

The Hon’ble Supreme Court had given a clear verdict on 14th December 2018 on the Petition seeking an inquiry into the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft.  the Supreme Court has categorically rejected the Review Petitions filed later against the order on merits bringing to a close an exercise of vilification and casting doubts on the Defence acquisition process which has an adverse impact on the morale of the Security Forces.

 The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgment dated 14th November 2019 has categorically stated that the Review Petitions are without any merit and are dismissed.

While dismissing the review petitions, the Court has observed about the petitioners that it does seem that the attempt of the petitioners is to construe themselves as an Appellate Authority to decide each aspect of the contract and call upon the Court to do the same. We do not believe this to be jurisdiction to be exercised 

The Court while upholding the decision-making process has held that “All aspects were considered by the competent authority and the different views expressed considered and dealt with. It would well-nigh become impossible for different opinions to be set out in the record if each opinion was to be construed as to be complied with before the contract was entered into. It would defeat the very purpose of debate in the decision-making process”.

The Court has further elaborated that “there were undoubtedly opinions expressed in the course of the decision-making process, which may be different from the decision taken, but then any decision-making process envisages debates and expert opinion and the last call is with the competent authority, which so exercised it.” (emphasis added)

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