New Delhi, November 14, 2019: The Supreme Court today will pronounce its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking review of its 2018 order which gave clean chit to Narendra Modi-led government on a plea seeking investigation into alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by India from France.
The verdict will be delivered by a three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph. A brief timeline of the Rafale jet deal case:
2007: The UPA government releases tenders for 126 fighters, based on the demand by the Indian Air Force.
January 2012: French company, Dassault Aviation makes the lowest bids for their aircraft Rafale. According to conditions, 126 jets required, of which 18 to be imported in fly-away condition. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) supposed to manufacture the remaining 108 jets with assistance from Dassault.
2014: HAL and Dassault sign an agreement. Negotiations carried out however the deal was not finalised.
June 2015: Defence ministry officially withdraws the 126 aircraft deal tender.
April 2015: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Paris and announces the decision to buy 36 Rafale fighters.
January 2016: French President Francois Hollande visits India on the occasion of Republic Day. A memorandum of understanding on the purchase of Rafale jets signed between India and France.
November 2018: A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reserves verdict in the Rafale case after extensive arguments.
December 14, 2018: Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking court-monitored probe into Rafale fighter jet deal, saying that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal. The top court had also said that it was not its job to go into the issue of pricing of fighter planes.
May 2019: The Supreme Court reserves the order on the pleas filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and others against the top court's judgment.
The Centre had also filed an affidavit seeking dismissal of the review petition after some internal documents of the Defence Ministry related to the Rafale fighter deal came out in a section of the media.