AG Venugopal makes U-turn, says Rafale documents not stolen

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 09, 2019 12:15 hrs
Rafale fighter jet performs during the Aero India air show at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru

New Delhi: In a somersault, Attorney General K. K. Venugopal on Friday said he had never told the Supreme Court that Rafale file/documents were stolen, but had only said that the photocopies of the same were unauthorisedly taken away.

The clarification by the Attorney General came two days after he had twice told the court that Rafale documents were "stolen" and once he said that they were "purloined" and that the investigation was under way.

The Attorney General sought to clarify that he had never said that the Rafale documents that were published in a section of the media and used by the petitioners were "stolen." What he had told the court was that these documents were unauthorisedly photocopied.

Sources close to the Attorney General said that he had told the court on Wednesday that the documents were unauthorisedly photocopied.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her tweet quoted the Attorney General saying that he had never said that the Rafale documents were stolen and that all he had told the top court was that the petitioners (Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushan) in their application used "photocopies of the original" papers, deemed by the government.

Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala in his tweet late in the evening said: "Art of serving hundred lies to hide one truth. Yesterday in Supreme Court - Rafale files have been stolen. Today - photocopies of Rafale files have been stolen."