Rafale ruling: Court order paves way for criminal probe, says Congress
New Delhi: Soon after the Supreme Court gave a 'clean chit' for the second time to the Narendra Modi government in the matter of procurement of Rafale fighter jets, the Congress Congress said that the court order has "paved way for a criminal probe" in the Rafale deal.
Slamming Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) for celebrating the Supreme Court's verdict on Rafael on Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "In the last 5 years, BJP has got into a bad habit of celebrating every case without analysing it. Today, in the Rafale case, the top court has opened the way for a comprehensive criminal investigation."
Surjewala referred to the concluding paragraph of the judgement by the apex court which said, "I am of the view that though otherwise petitioners in writ petition (criminal) no 298 of 2018 may have made out a case having regard to the law laid down in Lalita Kumari and more importantly Section 17 A of the prevention of corruption act, in a review petition, petitioners cannot succeed, however, it is my view that the judgement sought to be reviewed will not stand in way of the first respondent i.e. the CBI from taking action on exhibit P1 complaint in accordance with law and subject to the CBI obtaining previous approval under
section 17 A of the prevention of corruption act".
The Congress leader said that these are the concurring judgements and there is no dissent.
He further added that the SC has clearly said that their hands can be tied due to the limitations and rights of the constitution, but the hands of an investigation conducted by an impartial agency are not tied, that can happen.
"The apex court again confirmed the Congress' plea that as per Article 32 of the Constitution of the Supreme Court, it has limited powers and hence the SC cannot investigate the Rafale case. Hence, Congress
did not go to the top court", Surjewala said.
Reacting on the verdict, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the SC's Justice KM Joseph has left open a "huge door" for an investigation into the Rafale deal and demanded that a probe must begin in full earnest. Former Congress president has also called for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the fighter jet contract.
Surjewala also dared the Union government to show the courage and grant sanction to prosecute and investigate Rafael scam under section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
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