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  India   All India  11 Apr 2019  Opposition hails Rafale verdict, Cong vows to probe deal

Opposition hails Rafale verdict, Cong vows to probe deal

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 11, 2019, 4:25 am IST
Updated : Apr 11, 2019, 4:25 am IST

The BJP asserted that the court’s order was not a setback and that the Congress will not be able to “shows its face”.

Former Union minister and one of the petitioners in the Rafale case Arun Shourie leaves after the Supreme Court’s hearing on Rafale review petition in New Delhi on Wednesday.  (Photo: PTI)
 Former Union minister and one of the petitioners in the Rafale case Arun Shourie leaves after the Supreme Court’s hearing on Rafale review petition in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: On the eve of the first phase polling of the crucial Lok Sabha polls, the Supreme Court’s order, allowing petitioners seeking a review of the Rafale judgment to rely on leaked documents, brought cheers in the Opposition camp, especially in Congress which hailed the order, saying the Narendra Modi government now has “no official secrets act” to hide behind and a probe into the “scam” will take place. The BJP asserted that the court’s order was not a setback and that the Congress will not be able to “shows its face”.

“I want to thank the Supreme Court. The entire country is saying that Chowkidar has committed theft. It is a day of celebration that the Supreme Court has talked about justice...Some days ago, the PM said in an interview that the Supreme Court had given a clean chit. Today the Supreme Court made it clear that it suspects there is corruption involved. I have been saying that Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani need to be investigated. I am very happy that what I have been saying for months, that PM Modi has stolen Indian Air Force’s funds and given Anil Ambani 30,000 crores, Supreme Court has accepted it and will investigate it,” Mr Gandhi said in his parliamentary constituency Amethi, where he filed his nomination papers to contest for the fourth time.

 

Alleging that the government has compromised on national security, CPI(M) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, tweeted: “Modi and his govt have compromised national security for corruption and cronyism in an important defence deal. They tried to evade accountability, denied a JPC, hid price from CAG, tried to first mislead, then stall any hearing in Supreme Court. Important that culprits are booked.”

As the Opposition parties hailed the apex court’s order, the defence ministry claimed that the  petitioners in the Rafale deal case are using certain documents with the intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations relating to national security. Hitting back at Mr Gandhi, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Mr Gandhi “probably does not even read even half a paragraph” and by saying that the court has accepted and that the court has said ‘Chowkidaar chor hai,’ is on the verge on contempt of court.

 

Taking a dig at Mr Gandhi, she said the person who himself is on bail and violates every norm of political decency, is alleging things which the court has never said. She said the court order was limited to whether it should consider the documents the government said were illegally obtained by petitioners. The minister claimed that Mr Gandhi has “crossed the line of decency” in his comments on the court and he is repeatedly misleading people on the Rafale fighter jet deal. When asked about Mr Gandhi’s challenge to Mr Modi for a debate, she said the Congress leader should first answer whether the court’s order has said what he alleged in his reaction.

 

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley tweeted saying: the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has already cleared the deal and a petition seeking review of the earlier judgement of the Supreme Court is pending.

“All that the court has today said is that even a wrongly procured document can be considered for review. The issue which delights the beleaguered opposition is at best ‘procedural’,” Mr Jaitley said.

In a statement issued, the defence ministry said “It is reiterated that the petitioners are using documents with the intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations on a matter relating to national security and defence.”

 

Classified documents were sourced by the media over the Rafale deal and citing the sensitive documents, the petitioners in the case had sought a review of the Supreme Court’s December 14 order in the case.

The Centre had claimed privilege over the documents pertaining to the Rafale fighter jet deal with France and said those documents cannot be considered in evidence as per Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act. In its reaction, the defence ministry said the documents presented by the petitioners are failing to bring out how the issues were addressed and resolved and necessary approvals of the competent authorities taken.

“These are selective and incomplete presentation of the facts and records by the petitioners,” the ministry said. It said the government provided the requisite information as desired by the Supreme Court and also to the petitioners as per directions of the court.

 

“The government also provided all records and files as required by CAG. The main concern of the government is relating to availability of sensitive and classified information concerning national security in public domain,” it added. The ministry said that the documents presented by the petitioners “are failing to bring out how the issues were addressed and resolved and necessary approvals of the competent authorities taken.”

Alleging that the government has compromised on national security, CPI(M) general secretary tweeted: “Modi and his govt have compromised national security for corruption and cronyism in an important defence deal. They tried to evade accountability, denied a JPC, hid price from CAG, tried to first mislead, then stall any hearing in Supreme Court. Important that culprits are booked.”

 

Tags: 2019 lok sabha polls, supreme court, rafale verdict