NEW DELHI: The Centre strongly defended before the Supreme Court on Friday its deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, saying they were not for “ornamentation” but essential for national security.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi reserved verdict on the pleas, including the one filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seeking review of its December 14 judgement which gave clean chit to the deal.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, referred to the fact that Air Force in 2001-02 had raised the issue of acquiring 156 combat aircrafts.
“The period from 2007 to 2015 was a great setback as combat aircraft are very essential for the country,” the top law officer said, adding that “this is not for the purpose of the ornamentation. This is very essential for security”.
Dealing with the scope of judicial review in cases relating to defence procurement, he said, “No court in the world will go into what is to be purchased in a defence deal”. (