Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge said he was yet to see any such CAG
On the front foot
Referring to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley said “disrupters” had lost on all counts. Falsehood is bound to fall apart and it has, the FM said. “If honest deals are questioned, then civil servants and armed forces will think twice before undertaking such a process in future.”
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
addressed a press conference along with Jaitley. She said any controversy around the Rafale deal
was now laid to rest.
To a question about the Congress demand of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the deal, Jaitley said only a judicial body could carry out such an investigation. A JPC could work on partisan lines as well.
By evening, the Opposition leaders were demanding a JPC probe again, claiming there were factual inaccuracies in the judgment. They also asked the government to produce the CAG
Addressing a press conference with Kharge by his side, Rahul Gandhi read out paragraph 25 of the court order, which referred to the CAG
“This is the foundation of the judgment. Please ask Khargeji whether the CAG report reached the committee,” Rahul Gandhi said. Kharge said he also asked the deputy CAG about the report, who said he was equally oblivious on the issue. “This is an untruth,” Kharge said.
Congress leaders said they would raise the issue in Parliament on Monday. Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the nation needed to know who “perpetrated such a huge fraud to hoodwink on the Supreme Court” by convincing it about a non-existent report.
Govt hits back
Almost all senior ministers, however, were out all guns blazing. Referring to Rahul Gandhi, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “He (Rahul Gandhi) crossed all limits of propriety, decency and probity in public life by almost condemning the Supreme Court. What does he mean? Is he above the Supreme Court?” He also took this opportunity to aim barbs at Rahul Gandhi over dynasty politics.