After the Supreme Court dismissed all petitions that sought a probe in the controversial Rafale aircraft deal on Friday morning, Congress President Rahul Gandhi in the evening asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to disclose the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) report which audited the deal. He also reiterated his claim that the deal was a “robbery” of Rs. 30, 000 crore.
Calling the CAG report the “foundation” of the SC judgement, Gandhi expressed surprise that the court was told by the government that the report was shared with the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. The report is important as it has the “pricing details” about the aircraft deal, which has been mired in controversy.
In its judgement, the SC stated, “The material placed before us shows that the Government has not disclosed pricing details, other than the basic price of the aircraft, even to the Parliament, on the ground that sensitivity of pricing details could affect national security, apart from breaching the agreement between the two countries. The pricing details have, however, been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (hereinafter referred to as “CAG”), and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (hereafter referred to as “PAC”). Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament, and is in public domain.”
Delving on this part, Gandhi said, the PAC chief and Congress Member of Parliament Mallikarjun Kharge had not seen this report. Thus, he was puzzled and “not able to understand” why it was so written in the court’s judgement. “The PAC Chairman is sitting here. He has not seen the report neither has anyone in the PAC. The government has to explain where is the CAG report? It should show it to us, to Kharge ji,” Gandhi said.
Kharge himself raised several questions. “Where has this (CAG) report come from? Who gave it? I asked the Deputy CAG today how did this come out? Did someone fudge my signatures? This is an untruth,” he said.
The Congress president claimed, “It is serious. There has been a robbery of Rs. 30, 000 crore.” He also hinted at the possibility that the issue may not be buried despite the SC judgement as a Joint Parliamentary Committee could probe the Rafale deal in the future.