Modi Government Current Affairs - 2019

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Supreme Court gives Clean Chit to NDA Government over Rafale Deal

Supreme Court has given clean chit to Modi government for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter Jets. The three Judge bench headed by Ranjan Gogoi, find nothing wrong on the purchase of 36 fighter jet instead of 126 from France.  The court gave clean chit on three aspects – Purchasing of 36 Rafale jets instead of 126. Pricing of Rafale jets and Selection of Indian offset partners.

Key Facts

The bench consists of Ranjan Gogoi as chairman and other two members S K Kaul and K M Joseph, gave clean chit on issue of procurement of Rafale jets from France. The litigation had questioned the deal on the ground of pricing mechanism, commercial favoritism and procurement of less number of fighter jets. The petition was first filed by Advocate M L Sharma. The petitioners demanded CBI to register a FIR for the said irregularities in deal.  The apex court rule has two main points – (1) It finds no evidence of commercial favoritism (2) It is not the job of court to deal with comparative pricing mechanism.

Rafale Deal

Dassault Rafale won the MMRCA competition in January 2012 to supply 126 Jet aircraft with additional 63 aircraft to Indian Air Force. First 18 aircrafts were to be supplied by Dassault and remaining were to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Dassault refused to ensure the quality of aircraft produced by HAL. In 2014 the price of deal increased to $30 billion. This created the price issue on the deal and deal couldn’t be signed. Then after Modi government the deal was confirmed with the 36 multirole fighter aircraft of Rs. 58000 crores from France’s Dassault Aviation. The deal has been in controversy since its inception and supreme finally gave clean chit to government.

Cabinet gives nod to Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014

The Union cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given nod to for introduction of the comprehensive Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014 in the Parliament. The Cabinet has also given its approval to ratify Beijing Protocol, 2010 of the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to which India is a signatory.

Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2014 proposes

  • Death punishment for the offence of the hijacking, where such offence results in the death of a hostage or of a security personal.
  • Imprisonment for life and the confiscation of moveable and immoveable property d of persons involved in hijacking.

The current law, the Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982, which was last amended in 1994, will be repealed after passage of this new Bill.

Background

It was felt necessary for providing death penalty award to perpetrators of the act of hijacking in the wake of the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 in December 1999.

It was also necessary to amend current Indian hijacking act after the incident of 9/11, in the US where aircraft were used as weapons.

The Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August 2010. It was introduced during the process of amendment of a global diplomatic conference on anti-hijacking which was held at Beijing in August-September, 2010.

Beijing Protocol: This Protocol has brought out new principal offences in hijacking. This protocol is combined with ancillary offences, enlarged the scope of ‘hijacking’, expanded jurisdiction and strengthened extradition and mutual assistance regimes in case hijacking.