French ‘Anti-Corruption’ NGO Registers Complaint To Probe Corruption In Rafale Deal
A French anti-corruption NGO, Sherpa, has filed a complaint with the French National Financial Prosecutor, raising the fears of corruption in Rafale deal with India. NGO Sherpa, which takes up cases against economic crimes, asked the prosecutor to investigate the allegations of corruption in the Rs 59,000 crore deal, that was signed between India and France in September 2016.
According to the NDTV, the NGO has raised multiple questions on the deal. It has asked clarification for the terms on which the deal was done with India to sell 36 Rafale fighter aircraft. It has also asked Government of France and Dassault Aviation, the maker of Rafale fighter aircraft that on what basis did it choose Ambani’s Reliance for the deal. The NGO has also pointed out, “potential acts of corruption, granting of undue advantages, influence peddling, the complicity of these offences and money laundering” by Government of France and Dassault Aviation, in the deal, as reported by The Indian Express.
In a Press release, Sherpa has also revealed that the complaint was filed on the basis of the Sherpa and Mediapart joint investigation and the complaint lodged by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushan on 4th October accusing the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, of “abuse of authority”and “grant of undue advantages”. Sherpa has also mentioned Anil Ambani as “PM Modi’s close associate” in their statement.
Founder of Sherpa, William Bourdon says, “Everything indicates that it is likely to be a very serious matter.” The complaint was filed at the end of October with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, urging for an investigation into the controversial deal.
The Rafale Deal Controversy
The Rafale deal was signed between India and France in September 2016. Under this, France would provide 36 state-of-the-art fighter aircraft to India. According to media reports, the deal is of 7.8 million euros (about Rs 58 thousand crores). The first Rafale was expected to be delivered in September 2019. However, according to NDTV, the initial plan of the Rafale deal was to acquire 18 Rafale Jets from Dassault Aviation, founded in 1929, the other 108 jets were supposed to be built in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru.
Criticism from The Opposition
Soon political row started over the jet deal, in which the opposition parties have criticised the Modi government for “corruption” in the Deal. Congress President Rahul Gandhi while targeting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale Controversy said, “Now the people of France are demanding the investigation into the Rafale deal”. He tweeted:
हमारे चौकीदार की चोरी ने, फ्रांस की सरकार को मुश्किल में डाल दिया हैं।
राफेल सौदे को लेकर अब फ्रांस की जनता जाँच की माँग कर रही है।
गली-गली तक ही नहीं, पूरे विश्व में ये शोर है, हिंदुस्तान का चौकिदार चोर है|https://t.co/2eDeErML2H
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 24, 2018