Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has dared Rahul Gandhi to authenticate the 'audio tape' which the Congress claims has Goa minister Vishwajit Rane allegedly telling someone that the Rafale files were in former Defence Minister and present Goa CM Manohar Parrikar's house.
Jaitley has also said that if Rahul Gandhi 'authenticates it he will be found guilty of forgery'.
"When I challenged in the lower house, he (Gandhi) has refused to authenticate the tape and the text of the tape. The Speaker told him you can authenticate the tape and place it. The moment he authenticates the tape and places it in the house, he will be guilty of forgery, he will be guilty of fabrication, he will be guilty of breach of privilege, which is a scar on Parliamentary career of any individual, so he backtracks. Well, I won't authenticate it.
"A lot of muck can fly around as far as public discourse is concerned. You don't need an authentication in front of the media friends. I dare him to place it in front of Parliament.
"If he is so confident about authentication of the tape I dare him once again to authenticate and place it in the Parliament."
Jaitley had also demanded from Rahul Gandhi to authenticate the tape in the Lok Sabha when the Congress leader tried to play it.
"Point of order. The last time the member (Rahul Gandhi) spoke about Rafale, he lied to the nation about a conversation with France President....The French government contradicted. Today, he wants to rely on a recording, which is false and fabricated. Let him authenticate it, place it on the table of the house, and open himself...There's no such procedure where he can play a tape. He has to authenticate it, take a responsibility, and face the expulsion from the house under the privilege motion if it is found to be false," he said in the lower house.
The Speaker of the house, Sumitra Mahajan, concurred with Jaitley on his remarks, and ordered Rahul Gandhi to not play the tape or read the transcript, given the authenticity is still in question.