This refers to the editorial “Flawed judgment” (December 18). In dealing with issues that should ideally have been left to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Parliament, the Supreme Court has overstepped its authority and undermined due process. It was imaginable the kind of pain the SC went through to validate the government’s position on the Rafale deal. In the run-up to the general election, the government is now flaunting the certificate issued by the apex court that the Rafale deal was free from malfeasance and favouritism.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi relied entirely on a perusal of the material provided by the government and interactions with Indian Air Force officers to draw inferences. The verdict contained a number of factual bloopers and glaring contradictions. By its own admission, the apex court lacked the technical expertise to examine issues such as pricing and the choice of an offset partner. Still, it came to the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing in the procurement of the fighter jets. Its observation that defence acquisition cannot be closely scrutinised on account of national security concerns has struck a blow to the ideal of transparency and accountability.
G David Milton Maruthancode
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