Rafale deal: Shourie, Sinha and Bhushan demand CAG audit


New Delhi, Launching a frontal attack on Narendra Modi-led NDA government over controversial Rafale fighter jet deal with France, former BJP ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday demanded a forensic audit by CAG within a stipulated time period of three months. Addressing a press conference here, former Finance and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said, “There is a demand from the Congress party that there should be a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) which should examine this deal. We know that this Lok Sabha is in its last days, so the JPC will never function… I would suggest the audit which the CAG was supposed to take up, it should be a forensic audit and it should be completed within three months and the findings should be placed before the nation.” Senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan alleged that Prime Minister Modi was involved directly in the criminal misconduct and claimed that undue favour was given to businessman Anil Ambani. Ambani’s firm Reliance Defence Ltd was chosen as offset partner by France-based Dassault Aviation, which manufactures Rafale fighter jets. “The Rafale deal is not only the biggest defence scam of all time, but the manner in which Mr. Modi abused his position to give undue benefit to Rafale and Anil Ambani has caused a loss of over Rs 35,000 crore to the exchequer. It is a textbook case of criminal misconduct under Prevention of Corruption Act,' alleged Mr Bhushan. “Rafale is a massive scandal which jeopardises national security. If it was a new deal, it required fresh tendering. PM Modi's own core team did not know what was happening,” said Mr Shourie, veteran journalist and former Telecom and Disinvestment minister in the Vajpayee government. “Bofors was nothing compared to Rafale, I can tell you as the person who covered it,' he added. Mr. Shourie along with Mr. Sinha and Mr. Bhushan claimed that Anil Ambani had formed his company only a few days before the deal was signed between India and France. “The company which was “under Rs 8,000 crore in debt and had no experience in making aircraft” was given the contract rather than Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL),” they said. While participating in the debate on no-confidence motion against the NDA government in the Lok Sabha recently, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had alleged scam in government-to-government deal for acquiring 36 Rafale fighters from France.