New Delhi, Apr 10 : The row over Rafale aircraft procurement from France refuses to die down as the BJP on Wednesday said the Congress president Rahul Gandhi has committed a contempt of court by attributing words on it as per the ruling of the Supreme Court which the apex court has not said.
The ruling party did not rule out initiating legal action against the Congress chief for his remarks those amounted to showing 'contempt' to the highest court of the land.
"By saying that the court 'ne maan liya (has agreed)' about corruption in Rafale, these amount to contempt of court. The court today has not said any such thing," Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.
“The Congress party can churn as many lies as it can but the people of this country know the truth,” she said.
Referring to Rahul Gandhi's remarks in Amethi, she said - “Congress president Rahul Gandhi again called Prime Minister chor (thief) claiming that court has agreed on it and also that the Supreme Court has agreed that the Prime Minister has given Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani. The court has not said any such thing".
"This is contempt of court… Who has given him the right to misinterpret the court verdict,” Ms Sitharaman said.
She implied that the opposition parties and chiefly the Congress were making a mountain out of mole hill as the Supreme Court had given its "comprehensive verdict on Rafael fighter jet deal" in December 2018.
"Subsequently some persons approached the court by two former ministers and one lawyer activist on the basis of some illegally obtained documents published selectively in some newspapers. All that the court has said is that it will like to see these documents.”
The Defence Minister said such comments and remarks from the president of a party which has been in power for so long have only "shown the frustration by attributing words which have not been uttered by the honourable court".
Asked whether the government or ruling BJP could initiate any legal action, she said: "Let's see".
In this context, she said there is a Supreme Court order of 2018 on Rafale and the verdict then had clearly said there was no need for 'intervention' on the part of court on a sensitive matters like defence and national security.
"The perception of individuals cannot be the basis of an inquiry," she maintained quoting the court order.
She further said that a section of media only selectively reported on a paper of the Defence ministry and in the same paper, the views of the then Defence Minister Manohor Parrikar were not mentioned.
Ms Sitharaman argued that this was rather the selective picking up of stolen documents.
She maintained that the Supreme Court on Wednesday only dismissed the Centre's preliminary objections to pleas seeking review of the court's judgement in the Rafale deal.
A three-bench judge, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi earlier in the day said that the top court will hear Rafale review pleas in detail and that the 'stolen' documents of defence are admissible.
A date for hearing of the review petitions will be fixed soon, the apex court has ruled.
The Supreme Court had dismissed an application to look into allegations of corruption in the deal last year saying there appeared to be nothing wrong with it.
Two former union ministers in the Vajpayee government - Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and eminent lawyer Prashan Bhushan had approached the court saying they had new documents pertaining to the deal and thus the prayer of review must be accepted.
The Defence Minister also maintained that the outcome of today's orders is that the 'documents' stolen or otherwise can be produced.
"The court has not said that these documents are not stolen. Our plea was that these documents are stolen. The court has said present them".
She said the review committee would now “go through illegally obtained half documents”.
Meanwhile, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is contesting from Patna Sahib against cine star-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, told media: " ......a false perception has been created that it is a big setback to the government, this perception is wrong. The only issue today was whether the objection by the government related to privilege and certain unauthorized documents which were taken out in an unauthorized way should be considered or not".
The Supreme Court has only stated that the documents will be 'considered'.
The government sources have said the Supreme Court has already stated that there is no commercial angle.