Union minister Arun Jaitley Sunday alleged that the Congress was casting aspersions on the institution of CAG based on "falsehoods" after the party urged Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from auditing the Rafale deal since he, as the then finance secretary, was part of the negotiations.
The opposition party also said that it would be improper on the part of Mehrishi to present the report in Parliament. The CAG report on the deal to purchase the 36 Rafale fighter aircraft is likely to be tabled in Parliament on Monday.
"Another attack on the institution of CAG by the 'Institution wreckers' based on falsehood. After ten years in Government former UPA ministers still don't know that Finance Secretary is only a designation given to the senior most secretary in the finance ministry," Jaitley said a series of tweets.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had earlier said that Mehrishi was the finance secretary from October 24, 2014 to August 30, 2015 and in between Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Paris on April 10, 2015 and announced the signing of the Rafale deal.
"...Finance Ministry plays an important role in these negotiations...Now it is clear that the Rafale deal happened under Rajiv Mehrishi. Now he is CAG. We met him twice on September 19 and October 4, 2018. We told him about the scam. We told him that the deal should be probed because it is corrupt. But how can he initiate a probe against himself," he said.
Jaitley, who returned from the US after medical treatment said finance secretary is the designation given to the senior most secretary in the finance ministry and has no role in dealing with the Rafale files.
"Secretary (Economic affairs) has no role in expenditure files of the Defence ministry. Defence ministry files are dealt with by Secretary (Expenditure)," the senior BJP leader said.