Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and Congress president Rahul Gandhi (right). File photo
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and Congress president Rahul Gandhi (right). File photo

Rafale row: Enough evidence to prosecute PM Modi, says Rahul

ANI | Updated: Mar 06, 2019 21:10 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 6 (ANI): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday demanded a First Information Report (FIR) to be filed against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the Rafale fighter jets deal, adding that there is "enough evidence to prosecute him".
"There is now enough evidence to prosecute the PM in the Rafale Scam. The trail of corruption begins & ends with him. That crucial Rafale files incriminating him are now reported “stolen” by the Govt, is destruction of evidence & an obvious coverup. FIR against Corrupt Modi," Rahul tweeted.
The tweet comes hours after the Centre told the Supreme Court that certain documents pertaining to the Rafale deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry
Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal made the submission during the hearing on review petitions filed by various parties against its December 14, 2018, judgment in which it had refused to order a probe into the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter planes from France.
"We are dealing with defence purchases which involve the security of the state. It is a very sensitive case," he told the apex court, adding that the Centre is considering the invoking the Official Secrets Act on this issue.
The Supreme Court last month allowed for an open court hearing of the Rafale review petitions.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan told the court that a supplementary affidavit has been made based on reports by The Hindu's Narasimman Ram. CJI Ranjan Gogoi said, "We don't want any supplementary stuff. We have read what all you have given us."
Venugopal in his submission said note files were stolen and one of the national dailies had published it. "We are dealing with defence purchases which involves security of the state. It is very sensitive case," he said.
"Due to this other countries may be hesitant in doing deals as they feel they will have to pass through all media attention, public domain and court proceedings," the Attorney General said.
On January 2, petitioners in Rafale fighter jet deal case — Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, both former Union Ministers, and Prashant Bhushan, a noted lawyer — had moved the apex court for review of its Rafale judgment of December 14.
In the petition, the litigants alleged that Prime Minister Modi had signed an agreement for 36 Rafale jets on April 10, 2015, without any such requirement of 36 jets being given by the Air Force Headquarters and without the approval of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which are the mandated first steps for any defence procurement.
On December 14 last year, the apex court had dismissed all petitions seeking court-monitored probe into the fighter jet deal with France, saying there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal.
The top court had also said that it was not its job to go into the issue of pricing of fighter planes.
Last month, Rahul had refused to accept the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the deal, and raised questions over various elements in it. (ANI)