India court rejects probe of purchase of French fighter jets

NEW DELHI — India’s top court has rejected petitions seeking a probe into the government’s purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation over pricing issues.

Three Supreme Court judges say they don’t see any merit in the petitions filed by two former ministers and an activist seeking an investigation of the Rafale deal.

The opposition Congress party has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of buying the aircraft at nearly three times the price that was being negotiated by a Congress-led government before Modi came to power in 2014.

The government denies the claim but is refusing to disclose the aircrafts’ price, citing a secrecy clause.

The first aircraft is due to arrive in India in May. The deliveries are expected to be completed by 2022.

The Associated Press