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‘My conscience is clear’, says former CJI Ranjan Gogoi as he speaks about his Rafale deal verdict: Here is what he said

In December 2018, the Supreme Court had dismissed a court-monitored probe into the Rafale jet deal between the Indian government and France's Dassault Aviation.

In his interaction during the India Today Conclave East 2021, the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi defended the verdict given by a Supreme Court bench headed by him on the Rafale deal. The now-retired judge said that the Rafale case was simple for him to deal with.

“The Rafale case was very simple. The question was, in an aircraft procurement contract, do we apply the same parameters as a building contract. I said no. The parameters would be far more stringent in aircraft acquisition contract,” Gogoi said.

Gogoi also elaborated on why the Rafale case was heard in accordance with the “sealed cover procedure”. Gogoi said that he did not give lawyers the details because the sealed cover had the cost of armaments that could not be made public.

Speaking about the allegations made against him in connection with the Rafale case (mostly by left media and opposition parties like Congress), Gogoi said in the India Today Conclave, “It is easy to talk but difficult when you sit in CJI’s chair.”

He also added, “If my conscience is clear, no amount of criticism matters.”

Ex-CJI Gogoi headed SC bench gave a clean chit to Modi government on Rafale deal

In December 2018, the Supreme Court had dismissed a court-monitored probe into the Rafale jet deal between the Indian government and France’s Dassault Aviation. The court held that it was satisfied that there is no reason to doubt the purchase process or the need for the fighter jets. The court said, “perceptions of individuals cannot be a basis for a roving inquiry”.

The alleged corruption in Rafale deal was made a rallying cry of Congress’ election campaign against PM Modi for the General elections 2019. Rahul Gandhi went into overdrive, repeatedly trotting out lies and falsehoods to allege that there was corruption in India’s deal with the Dassault Aviation. The phrase “chowkidar chor hai” was repeated ad nauseam by the Gandhi scion, in a bid to tarnish PM Modi’s clean image.

However, after the 3-judge SC bench rejected the unfounded allegations levelled by the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi, the former CJI Ranjan Gogoi was attacked by the Congress sympathisers for being hand-in-glove with the BJP government. Even senior Congress leaders raised aspersions on Gogoi’s integrity, questioning his decision of not allowing a court-monitored probe into the Rafale deal.

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