No sooner had the three member Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi given a cleat chit to the Modi government, its ministers and MPs went on the offensive, in parliament and outside, even demanding that Congress President Rahul Gandhi apologise for his allegations against the government.
Normally it is the opposition parties that paralyse the house and bring proceedings to a halt but today saw both houses being adjourned as BJP members created a ruckus and called for Rahul’s scalp. In Both houses, the ruling party members did not allow question hour to start and proceedings had to be adjourned .
The home minister Rajnath Singh accused the Congress of politicising the issue for its gains. “The Rafale deal was crystal clear from the beginning and the Congress has been levying baseless allegations to gain political mileage”, he said. Ministers Prakash Javadekar, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Arun Jaitley also schoed similar sentiments.But Congress leader Jyotoiraditya Scindia said apex court order was not a setback as the Rafale deal is still an issue in the people’s court. And the party will continue to raise the issue in the Parliament.
Meanwhile the Reliance Defence Chairman Anil Ambani in a statement said “ I welcome the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court today summarily dismissing all PILs filed on the Rafale contracts, and conclusively establishing the complete falsity of the wild, baseless and politically motivated allegations levelled against Reliance Group and me personally. We remain committed to India’s national security and to making our humble contribution towards the Make in India and Skill India policies of the Government in the critical area of defence including our offset partnership agreement with our valued partner, Dassault Aviation.”
Reliance was am,ong the targets of the Congress offfenence in the Rafale deal. The Congress had alleged the government was benefitting the Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) through the deal as the company has set up a joint venture with Dassault Aviation to execute the offset obligation for the Rs. 59,000 crore deal.The party alleged Reliance Defence was formed just 12 days before the announcement of the Rafale deal by the prime minister on April 10, 2015. The RDL has rejected all the charges.
Under India’s offset policy, foreign defence entities are mandated to spend at least 30 per cent of the total contract value in India through procurement of components or setting up of research and development facilities.
–India Legal Bureau