Congress leader Kapil Sibal
Congress leader Kapil Sibal

SC verdict on Rafale deal based on factual-bloomers: Kapil Sibal

ANI | Updated: Dec 15, 2018 19:27 IST

New Delhi, [India], Dec 15 (ANI): The Supreme Court verdict on Rafale fighter jet deal is based on 'factual-bloomers,' former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Saturday.
He also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA's Central government, stating that "Centre has submitted wrong facts to the apex court and Attorney General should be held responsible for it."
The apex court on Friday dismissed all the petitions seeking probe into the Rafale deal stating that it was "satisfied" with the Central government's decision-making process.
Addressing a press conference, Sibal said that the Attorney General should be called before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). "Government is responsible for giving wrong facts to the Supreme Court. I think the Attorney General should be called before the PAC to and get these issues clarified."
"Why they made these assertions before the court through an affidavit and why such affidavit was filed which didn't reflect true facts? The facts filed in the affidavit by the government are factual-bloomers for which government is responsible not the court. Attorney General must be asked why the wrong facts were presented in the court. This is a very serious matter," he stated.
Sibal further said that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 is limited and, therefore, the court really can't give any findings on these issues. "The court cannot decide on the pricing, technical capabilities of the aircraft," he added.
Highlighting the concerns raised by the Congress over Rafale deal, Sibal said: "We (Congress) have been very clear that the Supreme Court was not an appropriate forum on which these issues can be decided, as it cannot summon and examine file notings, witnesses on oath, including questioning the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister."
Pointing to the apex court not arbitrating on matters of pricing or the technical aspects of the Rafale deal, Sibal criticised the NDA government for claiming the verdict as a clean chit. "It is childish that the BJP is claiming victory in the case," he added.
"They cannot say that allegations made by the Congress were baseless. In the 2G scam, they put allegations on us and the apex court declared that they were fiction. But this time, we will prove that our allegations are not fiction, but merely a truth," Sibal added.
Responding to the protest launched by the BJP seeking an apology from the Congress, Sibal said, "As far as Home Minister Rajnath Singh is concerned, not the Congress, but Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should apologise for their contentions that the Congress had put the nation's security at stake by politicising the defence deal."
Continuing his attack against the Centre, Sibal said: "The Supreme Court has made it clear that the issue of pricing of matters relating to technical suitability of the equipment would not be gone into by the court. Then how can the government claim that the apex court has stated that there was no corruption in the deal."
Elaborating about the combine report of CAG and PAC on the deal, Sibal said, "Para 25 of the court's judgment refers to CAG report having been examined by PAC states that CAG report is in the public domain. Kharge is the chairman of PAC. He hasn't got any report. Then on what evidence such facts were presented before the court."
Sibal also said that the court's verdict was an embarrassment for the judicial body itself. "It is an embarrassment for the court that they have to give a decision based on factual errors. The court has to put this in their judgement and it is against the public record. This (Rafale deal) is a very sensitive issue, which requires proper investigation." (ANI)

iocl