New Delhi: A fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was on Wednesday filed in the Supreme Court in connection with the controversial Rafale deal by advocate Prashant Bhushan, and former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, seeking a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case.
The plea states that an FIR was not registered in connection with their complaint as there is extreme pressure on the CBI. The petition seeks orders for non-transfer of CBI officials investigating the Rafale issue.
The petitioners appealed to the apex court to direct the CBI to investigate the offences disclosed to them in the complaint in a time-bound manner and to submit periodic status reports to the court.
The petition also sought a direction for the central government to cease and desist from influencing or intimidating in any way the officials that would investigate the offences disclosed in the complaint.
It further sought direction for the CBI and the central government to not transfer the CBI officials tasked with the investigation of the offences mentioned in the complaint and to ensure that the relevant records are not destroyed or tampered with and are transferred to the CBI.
In 2012, during the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) tenure, India planned to buy 18 off-the-shelf jets from France, with 108 others to be assembled in the country by the state-run aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The BJP-led government scrapped the UPA’s plan in 2015 and announced that it would buy 36 “ready-to-fly” Rafale jets from France’s Dassault Aviation.