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HomeIndiaGovernanceEx-union ministers Yashwant Sinha & Arun Shourie demand CAG audit into Rafale...

Ex-union ministers Yashwant Sinha & Arun Shourie demand CAG audit into Rafale deal

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Shourie terms it the ‘biggest defence scam in India’, activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan calls it ‘criminal misconduct’.

New Delhi: Former union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie Wednesday said the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) should perform a forensic audit of the Rafale deal, and the report should be submitted in three months.

A joint press conference saw former BJP leaders Sinha and Shourie join activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan in accusing the Narendra Modi government of being unfair in revealing the truth behind the deal.

“The Congress and other opposition parties have been constantly raising the Rafale issue in Parliament, and have been demanding a Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the Rafale deal,” Sinha said.

“But the current Lok Sabha is at its end, and it won’t be possible for an inquiry to deliver in a short period of time. A time-bound CAG audit is the best way, and we demand that the opposition should raise this,” he said.

Criminal misconduct

Bhushan termed it a case of “criminal misconduct”, with the buck stopping at the PM’s door.

“The entire transaction is a textbook case of criminal misconduct, of misuse of public office, and of enriching parties at the expense of national interest and national security,” he said. “Since the deal took place at the level of the Prime Minister and no one else was aware of the deal, he should be held responsible.”

Also read: Modi should not allow Rafale jet deal to become another Bofors

Shourie, meanwhile, termed it the biggest defence scam in India.

“Bofors was nothing compared to Rafale,” said the former journalist. “I can tell you as a person who covered it.”

Shourie alleged that during the UPA government’s time in power, the deal was to buy 126 fighter aircraft at a lower price.

“How were the number of fighter jets were reduced to 36? I can say this with full authority that no one from the Air Force asked to scale down the demand,” he said. “A new deal was signed where the same aircraft cost Rs 1,000 crore more than the earlier deal.

Shourie urged the government to disclose the facts relating to the deal, especially those relating to the cost to the exchequer.

He also said no approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security was taken before terminating the earlier contract, and no bids were issued or due process followed before awarding the new contract at an exorbitant price.

Private entity with no experience

The trio also attacked the government for awarding the contract to a private entity which has no experience, and ignoring the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

“The one organisation in the country which has had decades-long experience in manufacturing aircraft, HAL, has been kicked out of the project. A private entity which has absolutely no experience in manufacturing aerospace and defence equipment has been handed an enormous financial benefit,” said the statement issued by the trio.

“The government claims that the private company has been involved by Dassault, and they have nothing to say in this. But the guideline formed by this government only says that all offset proposals will be approved by the Raksha Mantri, regardless of value,” said Shourie.

Also read: Rafale a fake controversy, Congress manufactured it to taint scam-free Modi govt: Arun Jaitley

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  1. Evidence is with the Govt.. It is for them to give the details to the public. If that is done then the facts will be in the public domain. Just now the deal looks vefy intriguing on the details made available by the Govt. The Govt cannot get away saying that the opposition is making baseless alegations without evidence. The evidence is available with the Govt. Please put it down and shatter the baseless allegations with facts. Saying there is a secrecy clause etc is a joke and makes the deal very suspect.

  2. It is good that the govt can not scape un noticed . Experienced politicians like Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shoury has demanded a CAG enquiry …but must be knowing the fact too that every financial transaction of Govt has to be scrutinized by the CAG . In fact it was the CAG which at first flagged the 2G scam and Supreme Court ordered in vestigation afterwards . Hence this demand of two disgruntled earstwhile stalwarts seems to be a political demand only . There seems no basis for this . If they are sure that some wrong has been done then why they are not providing the evidences ?

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