Congress leader Kapil Sibal accused the government of giving wrong facts to the Supreme Court with regard to the Dassault Rafale fighter jet deal.
In a press conference held on Saturday, the former Union HRD Minister also said that the Attorney General should be called before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
“Government is responsible for giving wrong facts to the Supreme Court. I think the Attorney General should be called before the PAC and be asked why wrong facts were presented. This is a very serious matter,” he said.
The apex court had on Friday delivered a shot in the arm for the Modi government when it dismissed all the petitions seeking probe into the deal stating that it was “satisfied” with the NDA government’s decision making process.
In its 29-page judgement the apex court cited the government’s submission that the CAG was submitted before the PAC.
“The material placed before us shows that the Government has not disclosed pricing details, other than the basic price of the aircraft, even to the Parliament, on the ground that sensitivity of pricing details could affect national security, apart from breaching the agreement between the two countries. The pricing details have, however, been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (hereinafter referred to as “CAG”), and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (hereafter referred to as “PAC”). Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament, and is in public domain,” the SC said.
Earlier today, PAC chairman and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that he will ask the PAC to summon both the CAG and AG over the government’s “lie” regarding the presentation of the CAG report before the PAC.
“Government lied in SC that the CAG report was presented in the House and in PAC, and PAC has probed it. Government said in SC it is in public domain. Where is it? Have you seen it?” Kharge said.
Kharge is the chairman of the 22-member PAC of Parliament, a majority of whose members are from the ruling NDA.
“I am going to take this up with other members of PAC. We will summon AG and CAG,” he added.
In the press conference, Sibal backed his party’s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal, adding that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be questioned.
“We have been very clear that Supreme Court was not an appropriate forum on which these issues can be decided, as it cannot summon and examine file notings, witnesses on oath, including questioning the Prime Minister, and we need to question the PM,” he said.