Today, the Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi has seized the Supreme Court’s Verdict re-establish extradited CBI Director Alok Verma to reinforce his allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter jets deal.
On Tuesday, the top court has set aside the government’s post-midnight order on October 23 to exile Mr. Verma of his powers, send him along with his Deputy Director Rakesh Asthana on compulsory leave and appoint an interim CBI Chief for the meantime. The top court has restricted Mr. Verma from taking any major policy decisions, ordered that any further decision on him would be taken by a high-powered selection committee, which comprises of Prime Minister of India, the Chief Justice of India, and the largest opposition party leader.
“The CBI Chief was removed at 1 am because he was going to start an inquiry into the Rafale deal,” said Mr. Gandhi, adding that justice had been done with his reinstatement.
Mr. Gandhi continued that “nothing is going to save the PM from Rafale. The evidence is open and shut,” when asked whether the central government’s midnight move was having any connection to the Rafale allegations.
“It is pretty clear that the prime minister has helped Anil Ambani get Rs. 30,000 crores. 100 percent, without a shadow of doubt, the nation will know this,” added the Congress Chief.
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s order, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government was not biased against anyone that forced it to take the necessary step to protect the CBI’s credibility and integrity as its top two, Mr. Verma and Mr. Asthana fight with each other.
Congress and other opposition parties have accused that the central government went for a less than productive deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets with French company Dassault so that Anil Ambani’s inexpert defence company could snag an offset contract with the French aviation firm.
The offset clause means that an alternative to the contract, Dassault has to finance half the value of the deal, nearly Rs. 30000 crore in the Indian firms. Therefore, Reliance Defence was selected as one of those “offset” partners and manufactures parts of the plane though not for India’s 36 Rafale jets order.