In a bizarre turn of events, Attorney General now claims that the petitioners used the photocopies. They didn’t steal the documents. Earlier, healleged the petitioners for stealing and later blamed the public servants.
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.
“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.
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.
Stolen or not, the point is – such documents do exist. That means, the deal is shady. Let’s see how much shady and below the belt it is by the verdict of the Apex Court.