5 October 2020.
The anti-corruption lobby in France, has made a fresh move to force open a public investigation on the Rafale deal. According to a Paris based activist the developments on this would become evident by the end of this year.
The move followed the Comptroller & Auditor General’s (of India) critical remarks about unfulfilled offset obligations in the purchase of Rafale multirole combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has now decided to altogether scrap the offset clause from inter-government and single vendor deals for procurement of defence platforms.
It also comes at a time when Anil Ambani made a deposition of his precarious financial state to the High Court of London.
French anti-corruption activists were under pressure from the French government not to pursue the case as they did not wish to jeopardise a valuable contract for a struggling Dassault Aviation. The lobby is asking how the French government and Dassault Aviation could have chosen Ambani, who had no experience in air force hardware production and was veering towards bankruptcy, as an offset partner.
A complaint filed in 2018 by lawyer Prashant Bhushan states that at the time the offset agreement was signed, Anil Ambani was at the point of insolvency buried under a mountain of debt. Anil Ambani ventured into the deal confident of Mr Modi’s authority to swing any deal in his favour.
Anil Ambani and Reliance Communications have defaulted on three Chinese banks’ loans amounting to $720 million.
National Herald reported.