A DAY after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition for a probe into the Rafale deal, the Congress in Mumbai on Saturday reiterated its demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the purchase of 36 defence aircraft. It also accused the BJP of misrepresentation vital facts before the SC.
Speaking to mediapersons, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said: “The SC judgement is based on a CAG report. Who suggested to the SC that there is a CAG report on the issue and that it was also vetted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)? This is a gross misrepresentation of facts before the apex court. BJP is now manufacturing facts, which don’t exist in reality.”
Singhvi added since the SC lacked the technical expertise to examine the issue, the Congress has demanded an independent free and fair probe by a JPC into the purchase of the aircraft.
“The Reliance Defence and Reliance Aerostructure came into existence 10 days before and after the PM’s visit (to France) in 2015. Then, from where has the reference in SC judgement of Dassault Aviation having relations with Reliance from 2012 come from?” Singhvi asked. He said that former French President Francois Hollande has not retracted his statement and the current President, Emmanuel Macron, has not made any statement on it.
On the reference in the SC judgment that “HAL had no specific role” in the deal, Singhvi said: “An MoU was signed between HAL and Dassault Aviation in March 2014. The foreign secretary claimed in in April 8, 2015 that the talks were in advanced stage.” “Lies are the BJP’s only defence in the Supreme Court. BJP has hoodwinked the nation and cheated the people. Now, the BJP has cheated Supreme Court by misrepresenting vital facts,” he alleged.
On the Government’s move to approach the SC to correct a “factual error”, Singhvi said: “It is reported that the Centre has moved an application for correction on CAG reference in judgment. This is a clear admission by the government about misrepresentation of facts to the SC with reference to CAG and PAC and it is now shifting the blame on the SC to save its face.”
Criticising Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that a JPC is a divided political body, Singhvi said that when the BJP had threatened to disrupt the Parliament over Bofors, Harshad Mehta, 2G and VVIP chopper scams and demanded JPC probes, it was accepted. “This is worst kind of hypocrisy,” he added.