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CAG refuses to share Rafale audit; cites breach of Parl

CAG refuses to share Rafale audit; cites breach of Parl
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New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General has refused to disclose details about its audit in the controversial Rafale aircraft deal, saying the process is not yet complete and any disclosure at this stage will amount to a breach of the Parliament's privilege, an RTI reply said.

In its response to Pune-based activist Vihar Durve who had sought the report from CAG, the country's auditor said, "The audit is under progress, and the report is yet to be finalised. The information cannot be given under Section 8(1)(C) of the RTI Act as the disclosure would cause breach of Parliament".

Section 8(1)(C) of the Right To Information (RTI) Act exempts information the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.

Last month, the Supreme Court had dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets, saying there was no occasion to "really doubt the decision making process" warranting setting aside of the contract.

It rejected the pleas seeking lodging of an FIR and a court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).

"The pricing details have, however, been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament and is in public domain," the bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said, relying on the sealed note submitted by the government.

After the Congress raised the issue that no such CAG report had been placed before the PAC, the government approached the court seeking changes in the judgment.

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