If reports to be believed, Union Government may table the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Rafale Deal in the last session of the current Lok Sabha, Budget Session, sources familiar with the Development said. Finance Ministry rubbishes reports of the full-fledged budget; clarifies Centre to present ‘Interim Budget’
Sources further revealed that that CAG has finalised the audit report on the Rafale Deal that was done to acquire 36 fighter jets in a flyaway condition from France.
The Union Ministry early this month has maintained that it had given the CAG access to all the files relating to the Rafale contract and that it would be best to await the national auditor’s report on the issue.
The federal auditor has taken more than a year-and-a-half to review the Rafale deal and has gone into its pricing, request for proposal received from competitors, and also analysed comparative pricing of other fighter jets available globally.
Sources further told that report on Rafale Deal will not be standalone and is likely to be combined with several other recent defence acquisitions.
Earlier, CAG refused to share the details of the pricing earlier this month while replying to an RTI application, citing that the process is not yet complete and it is ‘ In Progress’ and any disclosure at this stage will amount to a breach of the Parliament’s privilege.
While replying to an RTI query of Pune-based activist Vihar Durve, The CAG said “The audit is under progress and the report is yet to be finalized. The information cannot be given under Section 8(1)(C) of the RTI Act as the disclosure would cause a breach of Parliament”. The RTI activist in its RTI application had sought the report from CAG, the audit report of Rafale Deal.
The Apex Court on December 14 rejected the Petition filed seeking a court-monitored CBI-led investigation into the Rafale deal involving Rs. 59,000 crores for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ruled, “We are satisfied that there is no reason to doubt the process is followed and the need of aircraft is not in doubt.”
Following which, Congress National President Rahul Gandhi asserted that ‘No Such report has been placed in the Public Accounts Committee citing Mallikarjun Kharge who is the PAC Chairman. Mallikarjun Kharge lashes out on the government after CAG’s claim that PAC saw a report on Rafale
Two petitions were also filed later one by – Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie, and Yashwant Sinha asking the Top Court to review its judgment. Other Petition sought to review the December 14 Verdict was filed by AAP Leader Sanjay Singh on Monday, January 14. AAP Leader in his Petition demanded the identification of the individual who misled the top Court.