Enough evidence to prosecute Modi on Rafale deal, says Rahul Gandhi

Alleging that the “trail of corruption” in the Rafale fighter jet deal “begins and ends with” Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday claimed that there “is now enough evidence” to prosecute him.

“There is now enough evidence to prosecute the PM in the Rafale Scam. The trail of corruption begins & ends with him. That crucial Rafale files incriminating him are now reported ‘stolen’ by the Govt, is destruction of evidence & an obvious cover-up,” he said on Twitter, using the hashtag “FIRagainstCorruptModi”.

The Congress chief’s attack came on a day when the government said in the Supreme Court that documents related to the Rafale fighter jet deal have been stolen from the Defence Ministry.

Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the documents published by The Hindu in its report on the Rafale deal were “not supposed to be brought in public domain”, and that they were ‘stolen’ from the Defence Ministry.

“Those who put documents on the Rafale deal in the public domain are guilty under the Act as also contempt of court,” Venugopal had said before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

While publishing articles based on stolen documents amounts to violation of the Official Secrets Act, entailing maximum punishment of up to 14 years, the contempt law attracts six months jail as also a fine of Rs 2,000.

Unruffled by the Centre’s stand, Hindu publishing group Chairperson N Ram said nobody would get any information from the newspaper on the confidential sources who provided the documents.

“You may call it stolen documents…we are not concerned. We got it from confidential sources and we are committed to protecting these sources. Nobody is going to get any information from us on these sources. But the documents speak for themselves and the stories speak for themselves,” Ram told PTI.

The bench, also including Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, was hearing a batch of petitions seeking a review of its 14 December verdict dismissing all the pleas against the deal procured by India from France. — The Quint