Congress demands JPC to probe Rafale deal

Congress demands JPC to probe Rafale deal

Pallam Raju

All India Congress Committee Foreign Affairs General Secretary Pallam Raju on Wednesday accused the Union government of misleading the Supreme Court in the Rafale fighter jet deal and demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the case.

In a press conference, here, Raju said the Union government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has misused funds in the Rafale deal and has submitted false documents before the apex court.

“The court has not given a clean chit to the government. Falsehood is also breach of the privilege of Parliament,” he said.

Raju said the affidavit submitted before Supreme Court contains false information. “The Supreme Court had referred to the CAG report and its examination by a Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC). But, Mallikarjun Kharge, chairman of PAC, is unaware of the CAG report on Rafale deal,” he said.

Raju said the Supreme Court is not the appropriate forum to decide on the issue of corruption, pricing, specifications, and crony capitalism in the Rafale case. The Supreme Court cannot summon and examine all file notings, examine witnesses on oath, including questioning of the Prime Minister as also Defence Ministry officials or accept other evidence. This can only be done by the JPC, he pointed out.

He alleged that the Rafale scam is a sordid saga of causing loss to public exchequer, squandering of national interests compromising national security, by-passing interests of public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and propagating the culture of ‘Crony Capitalism’, he said.

Raju asked why did the government took a decision to reduce the purchase of Rafale aircraft from 126 to 36? Why was the price escalated three times since the original agreement?

The Congress had served notices of breach of privilege in both Houses of Parliament, demanding an explanation from the government on why it provided wrong information on Rafale deal, he said.

District Congress Committee President B J Vijaykumar and city unit president R Murthy were among those who were present on the occasion.