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Rafale documents not stolen, petitioners used photocopies: AG

New Delhi: Attorney General KK Venugopal claimed that Rafale documents were not stolen from the Defence Ministry and what he submitted before the Supreme Court, the petitioners used “photocopies of the original” papers.

The comments of Attorney General KK Venugopal that the Rafale fighter jet deal documents were stolen had caused a massive political row, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over the theft of such sensitive papers and seeking a criminal investigation.

 

“I am told that the opposition has alleged what was argued (in SC) was that files had been stolen from the defence ministry. This is wholly incorrect. The statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect,” he told PTI, in an apparent damage-control exercise.

Venugopal said the application filed by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushant, seeking from the court a review of its verdict dismissing pleas for a probe into against the Rafale deal, had annexed three documents which were photocopies of the original.

Official sources said the AG’s use of word stolen was probably “stronger” and could have been avoided.

The government had also warned The Hindu newspapers with a case under Official Secrets Act for publishing articles based on these documents.