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Rahul Gandhi's Rafale comments were not our observations, says Supreme Court

Rahul Gandhi's Rafale comments were not our observations, says Supreme Court

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 Apr 2019, 12:57 pm

New Delhi, Apr 15 (IBNS): Leaving Congress president Rahul Gandhi egg-faced, the Supreme Court on Monday said it has never observed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was involved in a corruption in the Rafale deal (buying of 36 fighter jets by India from France) contrary to what was claimed by the opposition leader in one of his comments.

Consequently, the top court has asked Gandhi to respond to the contempt petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Meenakshi Lekhi by Monday.

After the Supreme Court last week ruled that the stolen documents of Rafale deal will be considered as evidences, Gandhi had said the Supreme Court found that the Prime Minister had stolen money and gave it to businessman Anil Ambani, a common allegation which the Congress chief is used to make.

The Centre had earlier told the Supreme Court that the papers, which were accessed by The Hindu, were stolen from the Defence Ministry. 

Lekhi, the petitioner, claimed that Gandhi has endorsed his personal comment as the Supreme Court's order.

The Hindu reports point finger at Modi government over Rafale

In its first report, The Hindu had claimed that the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) held parallel parleys with the French government prompting the Defence Ministry to object to the separate talks.

The Defence Ministry's objection was quoted by The Hindu, "We may advise PMO that any Officers who are not part of Indian Negotiating Team may refrain from having parallel parlays [parleys] with the officers of French Government....in case the PMO is not confident about the outcome of negotiations being carried out by the MoD, a revised modality of negotiations to be led by PMO at appropriate level may be adopted in the case.”

The second report stated the Indian government made some unprecedented concessions to France in the Rafale deal.

Days before the signing of the deal, as the newspaper reported, India dropped provisions for anti-corruption penalties and making payments through an escrow account.

In the third report pointing a finger at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, The Hindu stated three Defence Ministry officials had arrived at a conclusion that the Rafale deal (buying of 36 fighter jets from France) made by the Narendra Modi government was not on "better terms" than the one made by the UPA government.

The three Defence Ministry officials, who were the domain experts on the seven-member Indian Negotiating Team (INT), also concluded that the delivery schedule of the first 18 of 36 jets in the new deal was slower than the original procurement process.

Under the Congress-led UPA government, which ruled the country from 2004 to 2014, India has signed a deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets.

Rahul Gandhi's Rafale comments were not our observations, says Supreme Court

India Blooms News Service
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