After the center requested the Supreme Court to fix a “factual error” in its judgment that gave the government a clean chit on the Rafale deal for 36 fighter jets from France’s Dassault, the opposition stated that the ruling BJP allegedly gave “wrong information” in the documents asked by the top court.
Congress MP Sunil Jakharshifted a privilege notice in the Lok Sabha against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, while the opposition moved a privilege motion against Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Rajya Sabha.
“I have given a breach of privilege notice against the government and in particular against Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as it was the Law Ministry that gave the go-ahead for presenting the affidavit before the Supreme Court,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
This is the first time that a government has given wrong information to the Supreme Court, he added.
On Friday, the Supreme Court had denied any corruption in the Rs. 59,000-crore Rafale jet deal and dismissed all petitions asking for an investigation.
The Congress has been relentlessly saying that the government scrapped the previous deal to sign a new one to help Anil Ambani’s company bag an offset contract with Dassault. The costs jumped in this deal, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi stated.
But the court, while dismissing the requirement for a probe, said, “There is no evidence of commercial favoritism to any private entity.”
The bench had based the judgment on a CAG or Comptroller and Auditor General report that it stated had been examined by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC). However, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the PAC, clarified that he had not got any such report.
In between uproar over the CAG report, the center on Saturday said the Supreme Court misinterpreted that the Comptroller and Auditor General had examined the pricing of the jets and submitted its report.
“…unfortunately, an element of misinterpretation of the statement made in the note/bullet points handed over on behalf of the Union of India in the sealed cover, appears to have crept in. This has also resulted in a controversy being raised in the public domain,” the center said in its petition.
The Congress was sudden to accuse the government of “misleading” the top court and demanded a recall of the verdict and a notice to the Modi government for perjury and contempt of court.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal stated the court has neither gone into pricing nor into the technical aspects of the deal.
“Then how can they say that the Supreme Court has given a clean chit to the government. If you (the government) have not given the evidence if the cross-examination has not happened then who gave you a clean chit. Only a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which will be formed sooner or later, can prove this,” he said.