National

Rafale Documents Not Stolen From Defence Ministry, Petitioners Used Photocopies: Attorney General

PRERNA YADAV | 0
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| March 9 , 2019 , 13:14 IST

Two days after Attorney General K K Venugopal claimed in the Supreme Court that documents related to the Rafale fighter deal were “stolen” from the Ministry of Defence, and threatened to invoke the Official Secrets Act and initiate “criminal action” against two publications and a lawyer took a U-turn on Friday and said that they were not stolen, but the petitioners used photocopies.

These papers are deemed secret documents by the government. His comments in the apex court on Wednesday caused a political row, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over stealing of such sensitive papers and seeking a criminal investigation.

Rahul Gandhi even coined a new slogan for the election campaign against BJP -- "gayab ho gaya" -- which is a jibe at the Modi government.

"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," KK Venugopal told PTI, in an apparent damage-control exercise.

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Venugopal said the application filed by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushan, 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.