A day after Rafale verdict, Centre moves SC seeking correction over CAG, PAC reference

NEW DELHI : The Centre on Saturday filed an application in the Supreme Court for carrying out a correction in a paragraph in its judgment on Rafale fighter aircraft deal.

In the verdict that gave clean chit to the Narendra Modi-led government, a reference was made about the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

A law officer, according to PTI, said the application has been filed to convey to the apex court that there has been some misinterpretation on the issue of the documents placed in a sealed cover relating to the CAG and PAC.

Also read: CAG’s Rafale report with PAC, says court, PAC chief denies it

On Page 21, in Para 25 of the judgment, the bench of the Chief Justice of India states: “The material placed before us shows that the government has not disclosed pricing details, other than the basic price of the aircraft, even to Parliament, on the ground that sensitivity of pricing details could affect national security, apart from breaching the agreement between the two countries. The pricing details have, however, been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee. Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before Parliament, and is in public domain.

Quoting this, Congress president Rahul Gandhi fired a broadside at the Centre and claimed that this is the “foundation” of the judgment. The court said, a page later, that it had “examined closely” the price details, escalation costs and the note on the “costing, item wise.”

Mallikarjun Kharge, who chairs the PAC, said “CAG does not have their comments and there is no report” and he is not aware of any report, “neither does the CAG know about it”. He said he asked “the Deputy CAG today” since there was a PAC meeting in the afternoon.

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