After the Supreme Court delivered a massive victory to the Modi government by dismissing all petitions on the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi remained fixed on his stand, continuing to allege that the deal was a scam. His next line of argument saw the Congress president pointing to an aspect of the court verdict that spoke of a Comptroller and Auditor General report on the pricing in the Rafale deal. He said that the CAG report was not provided to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Mallikarjun Kharge.
"The foundation of the judgement of the Supreme Court are these three lines: The pricing details have however been shared with the CAG, and the CAG report has been examined by PAC. Only the redacted portion of the report has been placed in the Parliament and is in public domain.
The government will have to explain to us where is the CAG report. Show it to PAC chairman Mallikarjun Kharge ji. Maybe a different PAC is running parallelly, maybe in a different Parliament, maybe in the Parliament of France. It's possible Modi ji has constituted his own PAC in PMO.
How can it be possible that the foundation of SC judgement saying that pricing has been discussed in CAG report... PAC chairman (M Kharge) is sitting here, how come he never saw it. No one in PAC saw it."
The apex court was pronouncing its verdict that had been reserved on November 14 on a batch of pleas seeking a court-monitored probe into the deal.
Advocate M L Sharma was the first petitioner in the case. Later, another lawyer Vineet Dhanda had moved the apex court with the plea for court-monitored probe into the deal. AAP leader Sanjay Singh has also filed a petition against the fighter jet deal. After the three petitions were filed, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with activist advocate Prashant Bhushan had moved the apex court with a plea for a direction to the CBI to register FIR for alleged irregularities in the deal.
The Centre has defended the multi-billion deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets and opposed public disclosure of the pricing details.
India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of Indian Air Force equipment. The estimated cost of the deal is Rs 58,000 crore.
The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation