CAG review on Rafale not relevant to SC conclusions

CLAIMING THAT a review by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was “not proper” to the Supreme Court’s conclusions on the Rafale deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley aimed the Congress in a blog Sunday, calling the main Opposition party “bad losers” who are “now manufacturing further lies about the judgment”.

 “The CAG review is not concerned to the final findings on the procedure, pricing and offset suppliers. But bad losers never accept the truth. Having failed in numerous lies they have now started an innuendo about the Judgement. Having failed in their initial falsehood, the Congress is now manufacturing further lies about the Judgement,” Jaitley wrote.

On Friday, the Supreme Court canceled all four petitions seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal, saying it found “no occasion to really doubt the process” of decision creating, pricing and selection of offset partners.

Referring to the confusion resulting from a portion of the judgment, which stated that the pricing details were shared with the CAG which, in turn, shared it with Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Jaitley wrote: “The audit review of Rafale is pending before the CAG. All facts are shared with it. When its report is out, it will go to the PAC. Notwithstanding this factually correct statement made, if an ambiguity has emerged in the Court Order, the correct course is for anyone to apply/ mention before the Court and have it corrected. The past practice is that if in a factual narration anything needs to be corrected, any litigant can move to the Court for the same. This has been done. It must now be left to the wisdom of the Court to state at which stage the CAG review is pending.”

With the winter session of Parliament underway, Jaitley also postponed demands by the Opposition to refer the Rafale deal to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).

In the blog, titled ‘Rafale – Lies, Shortlived lies and now further lies’, Jaitley wrote: “The Court conducts a judicial review, it is a non-partisan, independent and a fair Constitutional authority. The Court’s verdict is final. It can’t be reviewed by anyone except by the Court itself. How can a Parliamentary Committee go into the correctness or otherwise to what the Court has said? Is a Committee of Politicians both legally and in terms of human resources capable of reviewing issues already decided by the Supreme Court? On areas such as procedure, offset suppliers and pricing, can a Parliamentary Committee take a different view of what the Court has said?”

Referring to the B Shankaranand Committee that “went into the Bofors transaction” in 1987-88, Jaitley claimed that “it became a cover-up exercise”. “After the Supreme Court has spoken the last word, it gets legitimacy. A political body can never come to a finding contrary to what the Court has stated,” he wrote.

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