After Centre seeks 'factual correction' in SC's Rafale verdict, The Telegraph runs 'handwritten' headline resembling scratched out note

After the Centre on Saturday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, seeking a "factual correction" in a paragraph of the apex court's judgment ruling out the need for an investigation into the Rafale fighter jet deal with France, The Telegraph on Sunday sported a "handwritten" banner headline resembling a scratched out note. The headline of the piece read: "Has Been Is Was Is",  with the words "has", "been" and "was" surrounded by scribbles resembling a cancellation.

The strap line of the Sunday edition of the paper read: "The state of the Rafale 'clean chit' after rewriters of history seek to get judgment rewritten" in a font resembling a child's handwriting.

The controversy

In its 29-page order, the apex court said the pricing details of the fighter aircraft had been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), and the report of the CAG has been further examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The court stated that "only a redacted portion of this report was placed before the Parliament, and is in public domain."

Following this, however, Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that such a report did not exist. Rahul said he failed to understand that the basic foundation of the Supreme Court judgment is the report that "no one has seen" and asked the government to show it to them and the PAC chairman.

"I am seriously not able to understand. You are laughing, but I'm not able to understand this. When one speaks a lie somewhere it comes out. The government has to make us understand, where is the CAG report. Please show it to us, to the PAC chairman. Or is it with some other PAC that Modi has set up in the PMO or some other Parliament in another country, like France? It is possible in today's world under Modi ji," Rahul asked, taking in a dig at the government.

 After Centre seeks factual correction in SCs Rafale verdict, The Telegraph runs handwritten headline resembling scratched out note

'Where is report?'

PAC chief and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge substantiated Rahul's statement, and said that he has not seen any such CAG report and termed the court's observation "strange" and "untrue". "When the CAG does not have the report, how will it come before the PAC. Who gave the report, where is the report? Where did the report come from?" he wondered, alleging that "this is far from the truth".

Kharge alleged that the government has lied in Supreme Court that the CAG report was presented in the House and in PAC, and that the PAC has probed it. "The government said in Supreme Court that the report is in public domain. Where is it? Have you seen it?" Kharge asked

The PAC chief further asked all committee employees to call on the attorney general as well as the CAG chief, and ask them when this report was submitted. "We should ask them when the report was submitted, when it was accepted, and when it was investigated by the PAC," Kharge told reporters on Saturday.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Dec 16, 2018 20:22:41 IST