Cong ramps up attack on Rafale; PAC to summon AG, CAG

Cong ramps up attack on Rafale; PAC to summon AG, CAG

At a press conference, Congress leader Kapil Sibal pointed to a part of Friday's judgment in which the Supreme Court said the material placed before it shows the Centre did not disclose in Parliament the pricing details of the fighter jet but revealed it to the Comptroller and Auditor General. (PTI Photo)

On a day, the government moved Supreme Court for error correction in CAG matter on Rafale judgement, the Congress went all guns blazing against Modi dispensation accusing it of having “misled” the court and sought an apology on Saturday.

Senior leaders in the party said that Congress is in talks with other Opposition parties and the issue will definitely be raised on the floor of Parliament when both Houses meet on Monday during the Winter session.

Ratcheting up the row over the judgement portions that stated the CAG report on Rafale pricing had been tabled in Parliament and discussed in Public Accounts Committee, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also the PAC Chairman said the committee would summon the Attorney General and the CAG to ask them when was the public auditor's report tabled in Parliament.

"Who is responsible for this? Who said this? It was the government who said this. How did the attorney general pass the affidavit?" Kharge said.

A battery of Congress leaders including Kharge and ace lawyers of UPA Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi asked “how did the government dare” to “mislead” the Supreme Court by presenting wrong facts about the CAG report on the Rafale deal.

 “Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked Congress to apologise. In fact, the government should apologise to the nation as it is the government which is at fault when its senior counsel places wrong facts before the Supreme Court, which becomes the foundation of a judgement,” Sibal said.

Speaking separately, Kharge said while Congress respects the Supreme Court, this is also fact that the apex court is not a probe agency and only a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) can investigate the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal.

Sibal said the Supreme Court, which gave the government relief in the Rafale jet case, has not gone into the pricing and technical aspects of the aircraft and it is only a joint parliamentary committee that can probe whether there was any irregularity in the deal.

 "Then how can they say that the Supreme Court has given a clean chit to the government. If you (the government) have not given the evidence, the cross-examination has not happened then who gave you a clean chit,” Sibal said.

On Saturday Government approached Supreme Court for error correction in judgement regretting that " an element of misinterpretation of the statement made in the note/bullet points handed over on behalf of the Union of India in the sealed cover appears to have crept in."

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