Probe PM Modi in Rafale Scam: Rahul Gandhi Reiterates Demand
A day after Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that there “is now enough evidence” to prosecute Narendra Modi, the Congress President addressed a press conference.
On Thursday, 7 March, Gandhi reiterated his demand for the Prime Minister to be investigated.
Accusing the government of manipulating institutions to “save” Modi in the Rafale deal, Gandhi said it has spoken of investigating the media over the theft of Rafale documents but has not probed those involved in the “scam of over Rs 30,000 crore”.
Gandhi Blames Modi of ‘Parallel Negotiations’
Gandhi once again blamed the prime minister for carrying out “parallel negotiations” with the French side.
Asking for an investigation against the PM, Gandhi said that it is written in the defence ministry files that the PMO carried out parallel negotiations, then why can’t the PM be investigated?
‘Trail of Corruption Begins and Ends With Modi’
A day earlier, on Wednesday, 6 March, Gandhi alleged that the "trail of corruption" in the Rafale fighter jet deal "begins and ends with" PM Modi.
Leading the party’s attack on the Modi dispensation over the deal, Gandhi also alleged “destruction of evidence” and “obvious cover-up” after the government told the Supreme Court that crucial files pertaining to the fighter jet deal were “stolen”.
“Rafale files disappeared, it was said that an investigation should be conducted against the media because Rafale files disappeared. But the person who was involved in Rs 30,000 crore scam, why no investigation against him?”Rahul Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress
Rafale Docs Stolen From Defence Ministry: Centre Tells SC
On Wednesday, the government said in the Supreme Court that documents related to the Rafale fighter jet deal have been stolen from the Defence Ministry.
Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal had told the Supreme Court earlier in the day that the documents published by The Hindu in its report on the Rafale deal were “not supposed to be brought in public domain”, and that they were ‘stolen’ from the Defence Ministry.
He further said that the publication of the documents amounted to violation of the Official Secrets Act.
“Those who put documents on the Rafale deal in the public domain are guilty under the Act as also contempt of court,” Venugopal had said before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
While publishing articles based on stolen documents amounts to violation of the Official Secrets Act, entailing maximum punishment of up to 14 years, the contempt law attracts six months jail as also a fine of Rs 2,000.
Unruffled by the Centre's stand, Hindu publishing group Chairperson N Ram said nobody would get any information from the newspaper on the confidential sources who provided the documents.
Ram said those documents were published in public interest as the details of the Rafale deal were withheld or covered up.
"You may call it stolen documents...we are not concerned. We got it from confidential sources and we are committed to protecting these sources. Nobody is going to get any information from us on these sources. But the documents speak for themselves and the stories speak for themselves," Ram told PTI.
An investigation into the theft is on, the attorney general said on a day the newspaper published another article on the fighter jet deal.
The bench, also including Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, was hearing a batch of petitions seeking a review of its 14 December verdict dismissing all the pleas against the deal procured by India from France.
(With inputs from PTI)