Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday took a dig at Attorney General KK Venugopal’s statement that ‘documents related to the Rafale deal were not stolen from the Defence Ministry’ saying he presumed the thief had returned them to the government. “On Wednesday, it was ‘stolen documents’. On Friday, it was ‘photocopied documents’. I suppose the thief returned the documents in between on Thursday,” he tweeted.
His jibe came a day after Venugopal said that the Rafale documents were not stolen from the Defence Ministry and that what he meant in his submission before the Supreme Court on Wednesday was that petitioners in the application used ‘photocopies of the original’ papers, deemed secret by the government.
"On Wednesday, it was 'stolen documents'. On Friday, it was 'photocopied documents'. I suppose the thief returned the documents in between on Thursday," the former finance minister said in a series of tweets.
"On Wednesday, the Official Secrets Act was shown to the newspaper. On Friday, the 'Olive Branches Act' was shown. We salute common sense," he added.
Venugopal's comments in the top court on Wednesday that Rafale fighter jet deal documents were stolen had caused a political row, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over stealing of such sensitive papers and seeking a criminal investigation.
Venugopal had sought dismissal of a petition for a review of the Supreme Court's earlier judgment on the Rafale deal on the ground that the fresh plea relied on documents "stolen" from the Defence Ministry and that investigations were going on to find out if it was a crime and violative of the Official Secrets Act.