The Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala slammed the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) for celebrating the Supreme Court’s verdict on Rafael on Thursday. In a press conference, Surjewala said that the SC verdict paves way for an investigation in the matter.
“In the last 5 years, BJP has got into a bad habit of celebrating every case without analysing it. Today, in the Rafale case, the Supreme Court has opened the way for a comprehensive criminal investigation”, said Randeep Singh Surjewala while addressing the media.
“As expected and as usual, BJP Government and its Ministers are misleading the Nation on the impact of the judgment. The Supreme Court judgment is not a ‘clean chit’ but paves the way for ‘full investigation’”, he added.
He referred to the concluding paragraph of the judgment by the apex court which said, “I am of the view that though otherwise petitioners in writ petition (criminal) no 298 of 2018 may have made out a case having regard to the law laid down in Lalita Kumari and more importantly Section 17 A of the prevention of corruption act, in a review petition, petitioners cannot succeed, however it is my view that the judgment sought to be reviewed will not stand in way of the first respondent i.e. the CBI from taking action on exhibit P1 complaint in accordance with law and subject to the CBI obtaining previous approval under section 17 A of the prevention of corruption act”.
He said that these are the concurring judgments and there is no dissent.
He further added that the Supreme Court has clearly said that their hands can be tied due to the limitations and rights of the constitution, but the hands of an investigation conducted by an impartial agency are not tied, that can happen.
“The apex court again confirmed the Congress’ plea that as per Article 32 of the Constitution of the Supreme Court, it has limited powers and hence the Supreme Court cannot investigate the Rafale case. Hence, Congress did not go to the Supreme Court”, Surjewala said.
Surjewala summing up today’s judgment pointed out three conclusions. First, the Supreme Court has ‘constricted jurisdiction’ under Article 32 of the Constitution and it is not the function of the court to look at pricing and other contractual details.
Second, the independent agencies or the police or CBI are equipped to undertake all forms of investigation and no such restrictions and limitations, as in case of the court, apply to them. Third, the judgment of the court in Rafael case would not stand in the way of the investigation agency and taking action.
Surjewala also said, “Will the government of India will show the courage to grant sanction to prosecute and investigate Rafael scam under section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act?”
He further asked that will the PM and BJP government now concede to a full-fledged probe by a ‘Joint Parliamentary Committee’?”
“The layers of the corruption in the Rafael Scam can be answered through a fact-finding impartial JPC investigation,” he added.
He raised nine questions to BJP on the issue among which he asked why the BJP government supersede HAL in awarding Rs 30,000 crore ‘Offset Contract’ to a company which was 12-day old.
“Why a purchase a Rs 526 crore Rafale for a price of Rs 1670 crore and thereby cause a loss of Rs 41,205 crore? Why was National Security compromised by reducing the cost?” he asked.
“Why was Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) violated and Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) bypassed by the Prime Minister at the time of announcing the purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts on 10th April, 2015?” Surjewala asked BJP.
Other questions were related to delay in delivery of the jets and sacrifice of ‘Transfer of Technology to India’.
“Rather than indulging in celebrations, BJP Government should agree to a JPC investigation. Otherwise, it will be proved beyond doubt that BJP Government is not ‘corruption-free’ and actually wants to remain ‘investigation free’” he added.