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India
09 Mar 2019

Now, Attorney General says Rafale documents weren't "stolen" but "copied"

Now, Attorney General claims Rafale documents not "stolen"

Two days after he told the Supreme Court that classified documents related to Rafale Deal were "stolen" from Ministry of Defense, Attorney General KK Venugopal on Friday clarified that the papers were in fact "photocopied".

Taking an obvious U-turn, Venugopal said, "Statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect."

His comments in the apex court stirred a political slugfest, with Congress President Rahul Gandhi leading the attack.

In context

Now, Attorney General claims Rafale documents not "stolen"
Backstory: Rafale was discussed in SC, again

Context

Backstory: Rafale was discussed in SC, again

On Wednesday, an SC bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and including Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph heard a petition seeking a review into an earlier verdict.

The court had earlier dismissed petitions demanding a probe into the multi-crore Rafale deal, saying the process satisfied them.

But former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, and lawyer Prashant Bhushan weren't pleased with the judgment.

Plea

The curious case of missing Rafale papers

The petitioners brought reports published in The Hindu, to the court's attention.

The newspaper published documents to prove the deal which Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA struck with France, was more expensive than the one which UPA inked.

However, Venugopal asked the court to dismiss the fresh plea saying classified documents were "stolen". He added an "investigation" into the matter has been initiated.

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Venugopal does damage control after "stolen" statement

Statement

Venugopal does damage control after "stolen" statement

Though Venugopal didn't name media houses initially, he said later, "Documents in the possession of The Hindu and ANI are stolen documents."

The government also threatened to take action against the two publications under the Official Secrets Act.

But on Friday, rushing to contain the damage, Venugopal told PTI, the petitioners "had annexed three documents which were photocopies of the originals."

Statement about stolen files incorrect: Venugopal

"I am told that the Opposition has alleged what was argued (in SC) was that files had been stolen from the Defense Ministry. This is wholly incorrect. The statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect," the Attorney General told PTI.

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman endorses Venugopal's statements

Attack

Flaying with Centre, Rahul Gandhi demanded an investigation

After Venugopal made the peculiar admission in court, RaGa wasted no time in attacking PM Modi.

Addressing press, he said this government specialized in "making things disappear". He even said statements of government's representative confirmed the papers were authentic.

He added PM Modi ran parallel negotiations to help Anil Ambani and an investigation against him should be launched.

Separately, Mayawati said PM Modi should apologize to nation

Meanwhile, Chidambaram says thief may have "returned documents"

Reactions

Meanwhile, Chidambaram says thief may have "returned documents"

Unsurprisingly, the latest comments of Venugopal gave the Opposition a chance to slam Centre.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram tweeted, "On Wednesday, it was 'stolen documents'. On Friday, it was 'photocopied documents'. I suppose the thief returned the documents in between on Thursday."

In another tweet, he said after Official Secrets Act, "Olive Branch Act" was shown. "We salute common sense," Chidambaram tweeted.

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Who is the Attorney General of India?

What did KK Venugopal say in Supreme Court about Rafale documents?

How did opposition react on Vengopal's statement?

What did The Hindu report claim?

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Who is the Attorney General of India?

Asked 2019-03-09 11:46:23 by Aradhya Jaiteley

Answered by NewsBytes

KK Venugopal is the Attorney General of India.

What did KK Venugopal say in Supreme Court about Rafale documents?

Asked 2019-03-09 11:46:23 by Rishika Saxena

Answered by NewsBytes

KK Venugopal told the court that Rafale documents were stolen from the Ministry of Defense.

How did opposition react on Vengopal's statement?

Asked 2019-03-09 11:46:23 by Rakesh Rodrigues

Answered by NewsBytes

The opposition slammed Centre. Congress President Rahul Gandhi said an investigation should be launched against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

What did The Hindu report claim?

Asked 2019-03-09 11:46:23 by Navya Lobo

Answered by NewsBytes

A report in The Hindu claimed that the deal which NDA struck was more expensive than UPA's deal.

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