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Rafale deal: Apex court asks Centre for details


New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Union of India to file a response in a sealed cover in connection with the decision-making process of the Rafale deal but said at this stage it was not inclined to issue notice. Headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, the bench heard three petitions filed by two lawyers and a social activist.The last week of October was set for further hearing. Also comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph, the bench asked the Centre to file in a sealed cover the reply as to what was the decision-making process while making the big-ticket deal. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, submitted that all these petitions were politically motivated and should be dismissed. Lawyer and one of the petitioners in the case, Manohar Lal Sharma, contended that First Information Reports should be registered against those accused persons who were responsible for the deal. They must also be prosecuted for their alleged involvement in the deal. FIR, Mr Sharma added, should incorporate sections including criminal conspiracy and corruption. Another petitioner, Vineet Dhanda, told the apex court that there was no transparency in the deal and it was carried out in an extremely arbitrary manner. Indian National Congress supporter, Tehseen Poonawala, withdrew his petition. The pleas sought an Special Investigation Team probe.

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