Rafale deal: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman slams Congress for deceiving the nation

Sitharaman also contended that the entire process has been explained to the Supreme Court.

A day after the government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday convened a presser reiterating her government’s stance on the Rafale verdict. She said that the process has commenced, the pricing details were handed over to the CAG, which will study it and later pass it on to the PAC for evaluation.

Congress stirred a fresh furore over Rafale deal after the apex court dismissed all the petitions pertaining to it. The Supreme Court also noted that due process was followed in acquiring the fighter jets from Dassault and there appears no wrongdoing in the deal. Congress in its defence stated that the government had misled the Supreme Court by claiming that a CAG report on the Rafale Deal has been evaluated by the Public Accounts Committee

Countering Congress’ allegations, Sitharaman said that the government had provided the data and information in an affidavit to the Supreme Court. The government filed an affidavit in the court to make a ‘factual correction’ in a paragraph in the Rafale judgment passed a couple of days ago. Denying the grave charges of misleading the court, the government stated that there was a “typing-error” which was susceptible to misinterpretation.

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Sitharaman also contended that the entire process has been explained to the Supreme Court. The misinterpretation was caused due to incorrect use of tenses in the report and it wouldn’t affect the verdict.

Alleging that Bofors JPC ended up converting kickbacks to winding up charges, Nirmala Sitharaman claimed that Congress’ demand to constitute a JPC is an insincere attempt to score political mileage than to genuinely seek Rafale details.

If one evaluates the Supreme Court verdict, it will be amply clear that the judgment was not based on CAG report alone. The SC had considered pricing details closely to reach the conclusion. Though the Central Government had filed a petition for correction in the Supreme Court, the judgement would still hold since it is formed on the basis of pricing details reviewed by the Court and not just the CAG report.

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