Rafale: Congress asking for JPC probe for political gains, says Sitharaman
New Delhi, Dec 17: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the Congress is trying to politicise the Rafale deal issue by insisting on a JPC probe. She said that the party was "knowingly" misleading people over the pricing of Rafale jets.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
"A politically divided JPC is looking into a matter already looked into by the SC. A Bofors JPC ended up converting kickbacks into winding up charges. So to ask for JPC is for Congress' political grandstanding rather than genuinely knowing, post court's verdict," Sitharaman said.
"We explained the process through which info comes to Parliament. In that, the past tense, future tense, present tense and present continuous tense has come into play. That is post the decision, is it not? Therefore how is it going to affect verdict?" she added.
Congress has been accusing the government of misleading SC
Hitting out at the Gandhi family for alleging corruption in the defence contract, she said that they showed "amazing audacity" by not listening to the Supreme Court's verdict in the case.
"In the affidavit we have given the data and the information. We think there is an interpretation problem, we would like you (court) to look at it and correct it, That's our appeal to the court, we will wait for them to take the call," she said.
SC had dismissed all the petitions seeking an investigation into Rafale deal
The Centre on Saturday requested the Supreme Court to correct a factual error in Rafale verdict that was delivered on Friday. The Congress had alleged that the Centre had misled the Supreme Court on the issue of the Rafale Deal scrutiny by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The Congress also said that the verdict has some grotesque factual errors including a CAG report on Rafale placed before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, which examines the report.
"We have given the price to the CAG, in a Parliamentary system the CAG looks into it and then its report goes to PAC. The PAC will have a look at it and then it will become a public document. It is a process and it has commenced," the Defence Minister said today (December 17).
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Friday had said there is no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France, and dismissed all the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal.
There was no substantial evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity, the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said on the issue of an offset partner in its ruling on a batch of petitions. The Congress has repeatedly criticised the deal for the 36 Rafale jets, alleging that the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government. The government has, however, denied any irregularity in the deal.