Cong de­mands CAG re­cusal in Rafale au­dit

The New Indian Express - - NEWS -

AMID the buzz that the CAG re­port on Rafale may be tabled in Par­lia­ment on Mon­day, the Congress on Sun­day de­manded that CAG Ra­jiv Mehrishi (pic) re­cuse him­self from the au­dit cit­ing con­flict of in­ter­est. Mehrishi served was the fi­nance sec­re­tary when PM Naren­dra Modi vis­ited France and struck a new deal for 36 Rafales in fly­away con­di­tion on April 10, 2015. “Fi­nance min­istry plays an im­por­tant role in ne­go­ti­a­tions. How will CAG in­ves­ti­gate him­self ?” said Congress leader Kapil Sibal. The con­flict of in­ter­est an­gle is an af­ter­thought, as in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber last, the Congress had taken del­e­ga­tions to Mehrishi de­mand­ing a CAG au­dit. On Sun­day, the Congress sub­mit­ted a fresh mem­o­ran­dum to Mehrishi, urg­ing his re­cusal. “You are con­sti­tu­tion­ally, legally and morally dis­en­ti­tled to ei­ther con­duct an au­dit or to present a re­port be­fore the PAC and the Par­lia­ment,” the mem­o­ran­dum read. Mehrishi was the fi­nance sec­re­tary when Modi can­celled the 126 air­craft MMRCA deal on June 24, 2015. “The price ne­go­ti­a­tions of the 36 Rafale air­craft deal com­menced in May 2015. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the fi­nance min­istry, that is Mem­ber of the Cost Ac­counts Ser­vice and Fi­nan­cial Ad­vis­ers were part of the In­dian ne­go­ti­a­tion team. Hence, you were in­volved in the ne­go­ti­a­tions of Rafale deal,” it added. The mem­o­ran­dum al­leged that cor­rup­tion was hap­pen­ing with Mehrishi’s knowl­edge. “This re­flects your di­rect col­lab­o­ra­tion in the en­tire mat­ter. That be­ing so, there is no rea­son or oc­ca­sion for your to au­dit the 36 Rafale air­craft deal as you can nei­ther be a judge in your own cause nor can sit in au­dit over your own ac­tions to which you were a party,” it said.

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