Rafale deal: Post SC dressing-down, Attorney General says papers not stolen, petitioners used photocopies

Venugopal comments in the apex court on Wednesday that Rafale fighter jet deal documents were stolen caused a political row.

Published: 08th March 2019 07:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2019 07:55 PM   |  A+A-

Rafale fighter jet made by Dasault Aviation

Rafale fighter jet made by Dasault Aviation (File | AFP)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Attorney General K K Venugopal Friday claimed the Rafale documents were not stolen from the Defence Ministry and that what he meant in his submission before the Supreme Court was that petitioners in the application used "photocopies of the original" papers, deemed secret by the government.

His comments in the apex court on Wednesday that Rafale fighter jet deal documents were stolen caused a political row, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over stealing of such sensitive papers and seeking a criminal investigation.

READ MORE | Rafale deal: Congress accuses PM Modi of misleading Parliament and country, wants FIR

"I am told that the opposition has alleged what was argued (in SC) was that files had been stolen from the Defence Ministry. This is wholly incorrect. The statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect," he told PTI, in an apparent damage-control exercise.

Venugopal said the application filed by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushant, seeking from the court a review of its verdict dismissing pleas for a probe into against the Rafale deal, had annexed three documents which were photocopies of the original.

READ MORE | Nobody will get any information from us on source of Rafale documents: The Hindu chairman N Ram

Official sources said the AG's use of word stolen was probably "stronger" and could have been avoided.

The government had also warned The Hindu newspapers with a case under Official Secrets Act for publishing articles based on these documents.

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  • JYOTHI JONNALA

    AG is totally correct in hospital expression before the Court. Stolen is the right sense in the context before the Court. Mind that the petitioners evidence copy before the Court is not pointed to be stolen from records. Nonetheless the case is on stolen records.
    4 months ago reply
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