Today's Paper

Rafale documents not stolen: AG does U-turn

K.K. Venugopal.

K.K. Venugopal.  

In a reversal of his submission in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal on Friday claimed that the Defence Ministry documents, pertaining to the purchase of the Rafale fighter aircraft, were not stolen from the Ministry.

Mr. Venugopal clarified that what he meant in his submission was that the petitioners in the application had used “photocopies of the original” papers, deemed secret by the government.

The AG’s submissions in the Supreme Court had sparked off a political row, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over the alleged loss 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,” Mr. Venugopal said.

The AG said the petitioners had annexed three documents, which were photocopies of the original.

Official sources said the AG’s use of the word “stolen” could have been avoided.

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