Rafale deal: Admission of gross error, PAC should call AG, says Congresshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/rafale-deal-admission-of-gross-error-pac-should-call-ag-congress-mallikarjun-kharge-5495642/

Rafale deal: Admission of gross error, PAC should call AG, says Congress

Accusing the government of furnishing “false information” to the court, PAC Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge said he would request members of the parliamentary panel to ask the Attorney General and the CAG when the audit report was tabled in Parliament.

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Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge along with party leader PL Punia (R) and others addresses the media in New Delhi, Dec 15, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Blaming the government for “factual bloomers”, the Congress on Saturday said the Centre’s application seeking “correction” in the Supreme Court’s judgment was an “admission of gross error”.

Accusing the government of furnishing “false information” to the court, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge said he would request members of the parliamentary panel to ask the Attorney General and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) when the audit report was tabled in Parliament.

“I am going to request the members of the PAC to call the Attorney General and the Comptroller and Auditor General… (to ask) as to when the CAG report was tabled in Parliament, when was it accepted, when was it sent to the PAC… when the report was finalised and on what date did we table it in Parliament,” said Kharge.

“Correction application is clearly an admission of gross error which involves serious, culpable and highly objectionable misrepresentation to Supreme Court; in all probability contempt, perjury and violation of parliamentary privileges and distorting the foundational facts on which the judgment is based,” senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said.

“If you give wrong facts to the court and, on that basis, if the court makes an assertion, then the government is squarely responsible for it,” said party leader Kapil Sibal. He said the Attorney General should be called to the PAC to “get these issues clarified as to why they made these assertions before the court through an affidavit, and why such an affidavit was filed which did not reflect the true facts.”

READ: Kharge’s PAC colleagues don’t agree: ‘Where is CAG report?’

Kharge said while they respect the Supreme Court, it is not a probe agency and only a JPC can investigate the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal. He said the Supreme Court takes decisions on the basis of material, documents and evidence placed before it, and accused the government of misleading the Supreme Court by presenting wrong facts.

Sibal said the Supreme Court was “not the appropriate forum to decide on issues of corruption, pricing, specifications, crony capitalism in the Rafale case” and rejected the government’s demand for an apology.
“The Supreme Court cannot summon and examine all the file notings, examine witnesses on oath including questioning the Prime Minister because we need to question the Prime Minister in this case as also the defence ministry officials,” Sibal said.

On Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s demand for an apology, he said: “Actually, they should apologise to the nation and unconditionally, because they have misled the nation, they have also misled the court… and the time will come when they will have to apologise. We will make sure they apologise”.

Meanwhile, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising said the Supreme Court judgment must be recalled. “The Judgment of the Supreme Court in #Rafaledeal is null and void. It must be recalled. It is based on the reasoning that CAG submitted the report which was examined by PAC. Since no such report exists, the reasoning goes, it is no judgment in the eyes of law,” she tweeted.

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“This is not about grammar, it is about a void judgement regardless of who misled whom, it is based on non existent facts. It has to be recalled,” she tweeted.