New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday claimed the Rafale affidavit filed by the government in the Supreme Court in the PILs for the court-monitored CBI probe “conceals more than what it reveals,” its spokesman Manish Tewari firing a salvo of five questions.
He told a press conference here that “rather than a process dovetailing into a decision, a decision has been made and the process is structured in order to provide legitimacy to that decision or justification for that decision.”The rapid fire questions from him just a day before the Supreme Court hears the PILs to decide whether a probe is necessary are: 8 Affidavit underscores two separate and parallel processes raising the question how on April 10, 2015 when the Prime Minister went to France, did the government arrive at the conclusion that we will purchase 36 aircraft when formal decision to terminate earlier process of UPA government was taken only in June 2015?
8 Was the Indian Air Force on board to roll back procurement from 126 to 36 aircraft and when was the Standard Qualitative Requirement (SQR) initiated?8 Affidavit says the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded acceptance of necessity for 36 aircraft on 13.05.2015 but the announcement of purchase of 36 airdraft was made on 10.04.2015. Did DAC give post-purchase approval?
8 Contrary to claims of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that the cost went up because the government put weaponry on the aircraft to make it lethal, the affidavit says that the 36 aircraft which have been purchased by the Modi Government had the exact same specifications as the SQRs finalized by the Indian Air Force for the procurement of the MMRCA (Multi Medium Role Combat Aircraft). If the specifications were same, how did the price go up by Rs. 1100 crore per aircraft?
8 Why was the Defence Procurement Procedure 2013 was amended retrospectively on August 5, 2015? Was it not to absolve the defence ministry of pre-vetting the India off-set partner in a transaction of this nature? The 2013 procedure envisaged that the seller will have to submit a list of his India offset partners which are then cleared by the Ministry of Defence before the offset partner is selected. Because Anil Ambani’s company did not have the requisite technical qualifications, the procedure was amended as “you knew that you will not be able to justify.”
Tewari said his colleagues have drawn up 25 other questions, but these five fundamental questions itself exposes the scam.