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Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley
National

Jaitley confirms about ‘defence notings’ leak : Lays emphasis on National Security

Agency News

New Delhi, Mar 7: A day after Attorney General K K Venugopal told the Supreme Court that vital Rafale related documents have been stolen, the Government on Thursday backed the official counsel and said it is true that 'some defence notings of a sensitive interest to the country have been leaked out'.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also said that while free press has to be upheld, national security would always get precedence.

'What goes in the Court, let's leave it for the Court to decide,' Mr Jaitley told reporters during a post Cabinet meeting briefing.

He said - 'It is obvious that the Defence notings of a sensitive interest to the country have been leaked out and don't forget we have a very press in India...but even the framers of the Constitution have said that the national security is an exception and that has never been challenged in the 72 years.'

Mr Jaitley's remarks came in the wake of the strong demand for a 'criminal investigation' against Prime Minister Narendra Modi made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Addressing an early morning press conference at party headquarters here, Mr Gandhi said while the Government has acknowledged about the missing files, it should also look into the issue of parallel negotiation conducted by the PMO to finalise the Rafale deal with France.

"Why there was parallel negotiation.....why interference into Defence Ministry's job. PMO means Prime Minister's Office, means PM Modi. It is a blatant case of corruption. Why should there be no criminal investigation," Mr Gandhi said.

Mr Jaitley maintained that the latest development in the Supreme Court on the high profile Rafale issue is like 'the petitioners is taking one more chance' while the CAG has also made its analysis on the subject.

Taking exception to Mr Gandhi's repeated outburst against the Prime Minister, Mr Jaitley said, ' No dynasts can claim that he is above the Supreme Court or the CAG and that those findings and verdict do not apply.'

He said, 'Today's comments by Rahul Gandhi, I am told words were few and the facts were completely wrong and the motivation was also collateral.'

Mr Jaitley said the Congress strategy to rake up Rafale issue at this juncture was also to diver national attention from the fact that some Congress leaders had put the party into big embarrassment for their comments on Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent developments.

' The Congress party in last few days through statements of their senior leaders have boxed themselves into a corner. They are getting high TRP in Pakistan but there is a revulsion as far as domestic opinion in India is concerned,' he said adding that the motivation today (Rahul's demand for investigation against the PM) was collateral.

The Finance minister alleged that the Congress intention has been to shift the focus from their leaders' comment on Pulwama attack and ' take up an issue whose every falsehood spoken has been exposed"  (UNI)