Defence Minister and BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman today accused Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of committing contempt of court by 'fabricating statements by SC' on Rafale verdict. The BJP leader alleged that Rahul Gandhi told a public rally that SC has accepted that 'chowkidar chor hai', while the SC verdict today only accepted to review the confidential documents presented before it in Rafale case.
Sitharaman claimed that Rahul Gandhi at a public rally today said PM Modi has been proven to be guilty of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal and of giving air force money to Anil Ambani.
According to a report in PTI, Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi told reporters that SC has accepted that the prime minister committed theft.
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"Now the SC has made it clear that 'chowkidarji' has committed a theft. (It has) accepted that there is some corruption in Rafale. I have been saying so since months if investigations are done there are two names - Narendra Modi and (Anil) Ambani.
"I am happy and I have been saying so for months that 'Hindustan PM' has given air force money to Anil Ambani and the SC has accepted it. The SC is going to investigate it," Gandhi told reporters after filing nomination papers.
Rahul Gandhi followed up by challenging the prime minister to a debate on Rafale. "I want to directly challenge (you, Modi)... The SC has said that you have indulged in corruption. Come let's debate...Country wants to know about corruption, Rafale deal, demonetisation and (BJP president) Amt Shah's son," Rahul said at the same event.
The apex court on Wednesday dismissed preliminary objections raised by the Centre that documents on which claimed"privilege" cannot be relied upon to re-examine the verdict in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France.
In a post-verdict statement, the Defence Ministry said that the documents before the court present an incomplete picture.
"It's reiterated that petitioners are using documents with the intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations on a matter relating to National Security and Defence.
"The documents presented by the petitioners are failing to bring out how the issues were addressed and resolved and necessary approvals of the competent authorities taken. These are a selective and incomplete presentation of the facts and records by the petitioners.
"Government had provided requisite information as desired by SC and also provided all records and files as required by CAG. The main concern of the Government is relating to the availability of sensitive and classified information concerning National Security in the public domain," the defence ministry statement said.
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(Note: This copy has been updated with fresh inputs from PTI. Earlier Rahul Gandhi's quote in question had been attributed to Jyotiraditya Scindia, as reported by the news agency PTI at the time. The same has been updated after agency update)