The central government’s admission that the key documents related to the Rafale deal had been stolen from the defence ministry has caused a huge embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Modi ‘dangerous’ to India, the Congress party demanded the prime minister be booked under the prevention of corruption act.
Speaking to reporters, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “It is now clear that corruption and malfeasance in Rafale deal is Writ large. It is clear that none less than Prime Minister of India caused loss to the public exchequer by misusing his office. It is a clear cut case of Section 13, (1)D of prevention of corruption act and other offences under the Indian Penal Code.”
He added, “Time has come to lodge an FIR to investigate and find the truth vis a vis the conduct of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and others involved in the matter.”
The alleged irregularities in the purchase of Rafale jets from France was first unearthed by Janta Ka Reporter in November 2017 through a series of special reports by Ravi Nair. This prompted the Congress to and other opposition parties to raise the issue and corner Prime Minister Modi.
Accusing Modi of misleading the parliament and the country’s highest court, Surjewala said, “It is now clear that Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi misused his office to give benefit to Dassault Aviation and consequently caused loss to the public exchequer. This is a clear cut case of Section 13, (1)D of prevention of corruption act against the Prime Minister or India as also other offences under the Indian Penal Code.”
Meanwhile, hashtag #FIRagainstCorruptModi has become a top trend on Twitter with users demanding criminal action against the prime minister. Here are some of the reactions:
#FIRagainstCorruptModi If Modi claims official files / papers are lost, the only option left is to subject Modi to Lie Detector Test. We must get to know the truth.
— RKHURIA (@rkhuria) March 6, 2019
— Ruchira Chaturvedi (@RuchiraC) March 6, 2019
— manju jadhav (@manjujadhav_) March 6, 2019
— مكرّم mukarram (@mukarram3) March 6, 2019
Earlier Kejriwal had taken to Twitter to call Modi very dangerous to India as he wrote, “This means that Modi jis has committed a theft. Now he has got the entire set of documents stolen. If he had committed a theft, where was the need to have documents disappeared? A prime minister, who masterminds stealing of documents related to the armed forces is very dangerous to the country.”
The Centre’s Narendra Modi government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that documents related to the Rafale deal were stolen from the ministry of defence. Attorney General KK Venugopal had told the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph that documents relating to the Rafale deal, which advocate Prashant Bhushan has been relying on, were stolen from the ministry of defence.
AG Venugopal had cited a 2004 Supreme Court judgment that illegally obtained evidence could not be relied upon. To which Justice KM Joseph had asked if the principle propounded by the AG should be applied in Bofors case? He had asked, “Can that case also be shut out?”
In December last year, the Congress had accused the Modi government of lying in the Supreme Court, which had refused to order an inquiry in the alleged scam involving the purchase of Rafale jets.