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Supreme Court Dismisses Rafale Petition – This is How the Opposition Tried to Force “Fishing Enquiry”

Supreme Court dismisses Rafale petition

The Supreme Court dismissed review petition filed by Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Singh and Arun Shourie on 21st February 2019. The Supreme Court observed that the petition held no merit. It remarked that there cannot be a roving and fishing enquiry into the deal (mainly because the court had already seen no wrongdoing in the deal).

While accepting the unconditional apology of Rahul Gandhi on Rafale issue in a contempt case where he had attributed a wrong claim to the highest court, Supreme Court in the contempt petition against Rahul Gandhi remarked in strong terms that persons holding important positions should be more careful while speaking and that they should not drag any court into a political discourse.

Anyhow, lies after lies were weaved both by the opposition and some ‘activists’ comprising lawyers, academicians and media that forced an unnecessary waste of time and energy of the court and other institutions.

Here is how Rahul Gandhi went on exploring new lies and fudging figures regarding the Rafale deal. Sometimes the media and the ‘activists’ came with new theory and Rahul Gandhi picked up and it was also vice versa on other times.

So, in light of Supreme Court ending all the doubts over Rafale, let’s revisit Rahul Gandhi’s lie and see how they had a concrete counter-evidence to show he was lying.

Lie 1: Reliance was mandatory partner

Rahul Gandhi twisted a report that appeared in Mediapart (French media agency) and essentially said that making Reliance an offset partner was a trade-off for Dassault Aviation to get the Rafale Deal from India.

Facts:

  • What was mandatory was the offsets clause, not any specific company.
  • In fact, many private companies like Reliance, Mahindra, Kinetic and Maini have been signed by Dassault in India as Offset Partners.
  • Dassault CEO too, in an interview on October 11, 2018, had clearly said that Dassault has many offset partners and Reliance is just one of them.
  • When there was news about some media house quoting Hollande as making a statement about India having proposed Reliance, Hollande, soon contradicted this statement in another interview and said that he was unaware of any pressure to choose Reliance as offsets partner.

Lie 2: Officer in the MoD was ‘punished’ for dissenting note on Rafale

Rahul Gandhi claimed that a senior officer at the Ministry of Defence was ‘punished’ by the Modi government for submitting a dissent note on the Rafale deal. He and his party claimed that the officer was forced to take a leave when he presented his reservation about the benchmark price and later his objections were ‘overruled’ by another senior officer.

Facts:

  • These claims were shattered soon when the officer in question himself spoke to the media and denied any kind of ‘punishment’.
  • He denied being punished by the government for his objections and said that he was on an educational trip to Cambridge that was scheduled long before.

Lie 3: Ex-French President Hollande Claims on Rafale

Rahul Gandhi said that ex-French President Hollande called PM Modi a thief and that India proposed Reliance.

Facts:

  • Hollande did not call PM Modi a thief in any report anywhere. Rahul Gandhi invented this claim literally out of thin air.
  • Hollande also soon contradicted this saying he was unaware of any pressure to choose Reliance as offsets partner and that only Dassault can answer if there was any pressure.
  • Responding to his contradictory claims, Dassault Aviation, the French and the Indian governments clarified in their respective statements that the pact for Offset clause between Dassault and Reliance Defence was a private agreement between two companies and neither the French nor the Indian government was involved in it.
  • Yet again, Rahul Gandhi was caught lying through his teeth, misquoting the ex-French President and despicably call PM Modi a thief.

Lie 4: Rahul Gandhi Lies in the Parliament Causes International Embarrassment 

During the debate on the No-Confidence motion in the Parliament, Rahul Gandhi said that French President Emmanuel Macron had clearly conveyed to him that there was no problem in sharing any minute details relating to the Rafale deal. The parliament transcript has been attached below.

Facts:

  • The French Government, within no time, issued a statement refuting Mr. Gandhi’s claim and said clearly that there is indeed a clause that prohibits both parties from sharing classified information.
  • The spokesperson of France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said, “France and India concluded in 2008 a security agreement, which legally binds the two States to protect the classified information provided by the partner, that could impact security and operational capabilities of the defence equipment of India or France.”
  • They also reiterated the fact that the French President indicated publicly in an interview that, “In India and in France, when a deal is very sensitive, we can’t reveal all details”.
  • The French President himself in that interview had also added that Indian Government had made very good negotiation keeping in mind the interest of the nation.

 

Lie 5: The CCS was never kept in loop on the Rafale deal

Rahul Gandhi had continuously lied that the Cabinet Committee on Security was never consulted on the Rafale deal and that it had never approved the deal.

Facts:

  • Once the contract is finalized and before it is executed it goes to the CCS for approval.
  • The proposals in the Rafale deal were presented to the Defence Acquisition Council on 3 occasions and its directions were incorporated.
  • The proposal then got a CCS nod only after which the Inter-Governmental Agreement happened between India & France in 2016.

Lie 6: Rahul Gandhi Quotes Different Prices for The Same Aircraft at Different Places

An entire book can be written on how Rahul Gandhi had quoted different prices for the Aircraft and the alleged ‘Rafale Scam’ at different places at different times of the year. These instances will show that claims of Rahul Gandhi are shallow and are touted by him without any evidence.

  • On September 28 of 2018, he claimed the Rafale Scam was worth 1,30,000 crore

  • In February 21 of 2019, he claimed that the ‘Rafale Scam’ involves Rs 58,000 crore.

He also made several different claims on the cost of a single aircraft proposed during UPA rule at different rallies across the country.

DATE PLACE UPA PRICE CLAIM
APRIL, 29, 2018 JAN AKROSH RALLY, NEW DELHI 700 CRORES
JULY 20, 2018 PARLIAMENT OF INDIA 520 CRORES
AUGUST 10, 2018 RAIPUR RALLY 540 CRORES
August 11, 2018 JAIPUR RALLY 520 CRORES AND 540 CRORES

Source: India Today (https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-rahul-gandhi-changed-price-of-rafale-aircraft-4-times-in-5-months-1314622-2018-08-14)

At the Jaipur rally in 2018, within just two minutes he quoted two different prices – Rs 520 crore and Rs 540 for each aircraft. These differing claims clearly show that Rahul Gandhi is pulling these numbers from thin air and is speaking without any proof.

Facts:

  • The fact is none of the parties involved in the Rafale deal is getting any of the figures Rahul Gandhi has been mentioning.
  • In an interview to India Today news channel, Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, Deputy Chief of Air Staff has cleared the air by stating that “There is nothing like Rs 30,000 crore to any one party. Dassault has to do offsets to a tune of Rs 6,500 crore. Not more than that.”          (Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/mail-today/story/excluive-misinformation-on-rafale-jet-deal-1349265-2018-09-26)
  • As far as individual price of aircraft is concerned, their price is under non-disclosure clause and thus cannot be revealed.

Lie 7:  Rahul Gandhi claimed Supreme Court remarked that ‘Chowkidar is Chor’

In a rally Rahul Gandhi claimed that Supreme Court of India while hearing the Rafale Case had remarked ‘Chowkidar is Chor’.

Facts:

  • Quite obviously, the SC did not make any such remark.
  • Rahul Gandhi had to later apologise for this remark. Accepting his apology on the contempt of Court case SC has remarked in strong terms that persons holding important positions should be more careful while speaking and they should not drag any court into a political discourse.

Lie 8: Rahul Gandhi statement on 36 aircraft procurement 

Rahul Gandhi said decision to procure 36 aircraft was made to benefit political “cronies” and has harmed the Air Force.

Facts:

Hon SC held the decision was made in interest of defence preparedness in face of our adversaries’ ramping up their capabilities and IAF is happy.

Now with the Supreme Court ruling on the issue, all lies have conclusively been busted

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