The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to provide the pricing and strategic details of the Rafale deal between India and France in a sealed cover to the court within 10 days and set the next date for hearing on November 14.
"We would like the details of pricing and cost to be submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover. This may be submitted in the next 10 days," said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
Attorney General KK Venugopal objected to the court’s demand and said that the pricing of the jet is something not privy even to Parliament. The top court then asked the Centre to file an affidavit mentioning that the pricing of Rafale jet is exclusive and can't be shared with the court. The chief justice-headed bench, however, made it clear that it didn't want technical details pertaining to Rafale deal.
The court was hearing petitions, including those filed by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, into the deal for Rafale jets between India and France.
"Such details that may be considered strategic may not be furnished to the petitioners," said the court, asking for documents in the public domain to be made available to the petitioners.
Seeking registration of an FIR into the Rafale fighter jet deal, the former Union ministers along with lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court on October 25.
The trio had sought a direction to the CBI to investigate the offences mentioned in their complaint in a "time-bound" manner and submit periodic status reports to the Supreme Court. They had filed their complaint with the CBI on October 4 after Shourie and Bhushan met CBI director Alok Verma.
The petition came on a day when Verma and CBI's Special Director Rakesh Asthana were stripped of their powers and sent on leave in a dramatic overnight action by the government after their worsening feud sparked a serious crisis in the country's premier probe agency. According to reports, the government was not happy with Verma for meeting Shourie and Bhushan.