When Centre’s Hypothetical Kargil Defence Was Shut Down by CJI Gogoi During Rafale Hearing
Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that soldiers lost their lives in the Kargil war and added that had Rafale been used during the war, it could have hit the hilltops from 60 kilometers away.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi. (PTI)
New Delhi: Had Rafale fighter jets been used during the Kargil war in 1999, the number of casualties would have been less, the Centre told the Supreme Court Wednesday while justifying the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
"Soldiers lost their lives in the Kargil war. Had Rafale been used during the war, it could have hit the hilltops from 60 kilometers away," Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
CJI Gogoi was quick to interject. “When was the Kargil war – 1999? Rafale came much later. No, Mr Attorney, I don’t think we could have used Rafale in the Kargil war”, said the CJI.
Venugopal laughed and said, "I meant hypothetically, if Rafale would have been there during the Kargil war."
He added that all due procedures were followed while entering into the inter-government agreement with France for acquisition of 36 Rafale jets, and all decisions were approved by the Defence Acquisition Council.
"This is a sensitive area and a necessity of the country. Even the Air Force chief has been writing to us to enhance the capability of the force owing to depleting fleet of aircraft," the AG said while concluding his arguments during the day-long hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the Rafale deal.
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