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#Rafale: Bench assembles, hearing to commence in sometime. Mentioning in progress.
#Rafale: Hearing commences in Supreme Court
#Rafale: Petitioner ML Sharma making submissions, the document by Centre itself reveals there has been a serious fraud.
#Rafale: The document says deal for purchase of 36 aircraft was first announced and then negotiations were held, ML Sharma.

Attorney General should file reply on affidavit, submits Sharma.
#Rafale: Lawyer for Vineet Dhanda making her arguments.

"How can Prime Minister make a statement regarding purchase of aircraft before the agreement was finalised", asks Dhanda's lawyer.
#Rafale: Sanjay Singh's counsel now making his submissions.

Centre has not disclosed price to the court but they have disclosed price in Parliament twice, submits Singh's counsel.
#Rafale: Till March 25, 2015 the earlier deal of 126 aircraft is on. Suddenly in less than two weeks, without cancelling the earlier deal the Centre announced the new deal, Sanjay Singh.
#Rafale: In the document submitted to SC, Centre has conveniently adopted lot of aspects of earlier deal while this court sought details of new deal, Sanjay Singh.
#Rafale: This document is silent on whether a lot of steps involved in defence acquisitions were followed or not, Sanjay Singh.
#Rafale: The matter reached Defence Acquisition Council after the announcement of the deal by Prime Minister, Sanjay Singh.
#Rafale: Earlier deal of requirement of 126 aircraft was assessed in 2001. If the object is to increase our IAF capability then it should have been increased to 200 or 300 aircraft.

Why reduce it to 36?
#Rafale: Prashant Bhushan @pbhushan1 making his submissions now.
#Rafale: Your Lordships had flagged the issues of:
1. Procedure
2. Offset
3. Pricing

However, there is also a fourth issue of circumventing of tender by going for an Intergovernmental agreement, submits @pbhushan1
#Rafale: There are three conditions for going for an Intergovernmental Agreement which are not satisfied, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: In a press conference in 2015, Dassault Chairman spoke about how deal will be signed and 108 aircraft will be manufactured by HAL in India and there will be transfer of technology.

But a few weeks later, joint statement is issued out of the blue, submits @pbhushan1
#Rafale: As per the new statement, only 36 aircraft will be purchased and there will be no transfer of technology.

Importantly, an offset also kicks in, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: A week after joint statement, French press reports that offset will be given to Ambani's company and that is why deal was changed, @pbhushan1.
#Rafale: Nobody knew about this change, neither Cabinet nor Defence Acquisition Council, not even the Defence Minister, submits Prashant Bhushan. @pbhushan1
#Rafale: Offset is being given to a company which has no experience in manufacturing defence equipments or aircraft, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: And even this 36 aircraft has not been delivered.

Now they are holding out this mirage that first aircraft will be delivered in Sept 2019, submits @pbhushan1
#Rafale: On offset, Union has taken a stand that they dont know who the offset partner is since it is not time for Dassault to reveal it to them, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: For the govt to say that they dont know who Offset partner runs totally contrary to the procedure laid down since as per the procedure, the offset partner has to be approved by Raksha Mantri, argues @pbhushan1
#Rafale: So according to govt, Dassault can execute offset contract with whoever it wants without even the Defence Ministry knowing about it, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: There are many clauses in offset guidelines which require Dassault to disclose and get approval for offset partner, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: Bhushan now on the issue of pricing.

"Govt has not disclosed anything to us on pricing".
#Rafale: Bhushan citing Secrecy agreement.

Attorney General KK Venugopal objects.

"How did he get it? It is supposed to be a secret. He should disclose his source", AG Venugopal.
#Rafale: Bhushan says that he got it from a 2008 book om defence.
#Rafale: How does the issue of price compromise national security. If I may point out, it was disclosed twice in Parliament formally, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: If it is a matter of national security, then the Government has compromised national security twice by disclosing it in Parliament, submits @pbhushan1
#Rafale: On pricing, the govt has only said that this price is better than the earlier price, but how is it, asks @pbhushan1
#Rafale: In any case, this is covered by RTI Act and it is a bogus argument by Govt to say that price cannot be disclosed due to secrecy etc., @pbhushan1
#Rafale: The top officials have abused their authority as public servants by giving this contract to Dassault @Dassault_OnAir at inflated prices and by giving offset to Reliance, submits @pbhushan1
#Rafale: It is therefore in the nature of a commission and constitutes an offence under Prevention of Corruption Act, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: Hence, CBI has to register an FIR as per Lalita Kumari judgment and conduct a probe. This has not been done despite our complaint to CBI, hence we have approached this court, submits @pbhushan1
#Rafale: Reliance was chosen at the instance of the Indian government, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: Prashant Bhushan @pbhushan1 concludes his arguments.

Arun Shourie making his submissions now.
#Rafale: The offset clause was slipped in.

A company of the experience of Dassault which was set up in 1929 would not have chosen a company here with no experience at all, says Arun Shourie.
#Rafale: Dassault itself has been in serious financial difficulty, submits Arun Shourie.
#Rafale: Mr. Manohar Parrikar was unaware of this deal, submits Arun Shourie quoting a statement of Parrikar.
#Rafale: Shourie making submissions on increased price per aircraft.
#Rafale: Shourie says HAL fully capable to produce aircraft, rubbishes statements by govt that HAL not capable.
#Rafale: We want to meet someone from Indian Air Force, not from Ministry.

After all we are dealing with Air Force, says CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

He will be here soon, says AG KK Venugopal.
#Rafale: Attorney Generak KK Venugopal now making submissions on behalf of the Central government.
#Rafale: The secrecy is with regard to weaponry and avionics. If these are disclosed our adversaries will be able to know about what weaponry and avionics we have, AG KK Venugopal.
#Rafale: Due to our respect for Supreme Court we have disclosed to the court, total price along with weaponry, submits AG Venugopal.
#Rafale: What Your Lordships should consider is whether the court is competent to judicially review this on the basis of what has been submitted (by the petitioners), AG KK Venugopal.
#Rafale: Supreme Court itself agrees that aspects on pricing need not be discussed now.

"It needs to be debated only if the Court decides that aspects on pricing needs to come in public domain", CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

AG KK Venugopal readily agrees.
#Rafale: AG Venugopal now making submissions on the history of the #RafaleDeal
#Rafale: Justice KM Joseph quizzes Attorney General KK Venugopal on RFP requirements.
#Rafale: Is the Base aircraft under new deal same as earlier deal, CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

Yes, replies Attorney General.
#Rafale: "Was weaponry and equipment disclosed or in public domain under new or earlier deal", CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

Never is AG Venugopal's reply.
#Rafale: Bench rises for lunch, hearing to continue at 2 pm.
#Rafale: Hearing resumes in Supreme Court.

Air Marshall and Air Vice Marshall present in court.

"They will be able to answer Your Lordships queries", AG Venugopal.
#Rafale: Supreme Court begins interaction with Air Marshall and Air Vice Marshall

"Which is the latest induction into IAF", CJI Gogoi.

"Sukhoi 30" is the response.

"Are these and the Light Combat Aircraft fourth generation", CJI Gogoi.

"I would say its 3.5", says Air Marshall.
#Rafale: The new proposed aircraft is of which generation?, CJI Gogoi

"5th generation because it has stealth techonolgy", responds IAF officer.
#Rafale: Attorney General KK Venugopal now resumes his arguments.
#Rafale: For manufacture, HAL gave a time slot of 2.7 times of what Dassault was taking; that itself was a negative factor, AG KK Venugopal.
#Rafale: The offset partner has to be selected by vendor, AG Venugopal.
#Rafale: Additional Secretary of Defence Ministry now explaining the Defence offset guideline to the court.
#Rafale: Why the change in offset guidelines in 2015, asks Justice KM Joseph.
#Rafale: Attorney General KK Venugopal now responds on submission of @pbhushan1 that conditions for resorting to an Intergovernmental Agreement were not satisfied.
#Rafale: Which are the countries flying Rafale, CJI Gogoi.

"Qatar, Egypt and France", responds Centre.
#Rafale: AG submits Centre does not have sovereign guarantee but has a letter of comfort.

"IAF has been writing to us that it will be difficult for them to defend our country due to shortage of aircraft, we have fallen behind a lot", Attorney General KK Venugopal concludes his arguments.
#Rafale: Prashant Bhushan @pbhushan1 making rejoinder arguments.
#Rafale: They have said in their unsigned note that the reason for scrapping 126 aircraft deal was due to differences between Dassault and HAL, let us examine this, @pbhushan1
#Rafale: @pbhushan1 refers to statement of chairman of Dassault @Dassault_OnAir who said Dassault was looking forward to the deal.
#Rafale: Object of Intergovernmental Agreement was only to obviate the need for tender, submits @pbhushan1
#Rafale: @pbhushan1 concludes; ML Sharma now with his rejoinder arguments.
#Rafale: ML Sharma also dealing with Intergovernmental Agreement in his rejoinder arguments.
#Rafale: Senior Adv. @sanjayuvacha now making his submissions.
#Rafale: We have had problems in this country when defence procurements have run into problems, hence a policy for such procurements was put out in public domain in 2002, submits @sanjayuvacha
#Rafale: The deal was for seven squadrons but it has now been reduced to two squadrons, @sanjayuvacha
#Rafale: When there is a set procedure and procurement process had started based on it, and then there is a sudden deviation from that procedure, then will it not satisfy the judicial conscience of this court?, @sanjayuvacha
#Rafale: Can these changes be justified based on Intergovernmental Agreement, @sanjayuvacha
#Rafale: Supreme Court reserves verdict.
IAF has been writing to us that it will be difficult for them to defend our country due to shortage of aircraft, we have fallen behind a lot" - Attorney General KK Venugopal
The offset partner has to be selected by vendor - AG KK Venugopal

For the Govt to say that they don’t know who the Offset partner runs totally contrary to the procedure laid down, offset partner has to be approved by @DefenceMinIndia - Prashant Bhushan
@pbhushan1 @nsitharaman
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