Dassault Aviation rejects fresh allegations of wrongdoing in Rafale deal

By: |
April 08, 2021 8:11 PM

Prior to the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, the Congress raised several questions about the deal, including on rates of the aircraft, and alleged corruption but the government rejected all the charges.

Rafale combat aircraftThe first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on July 29 last year, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.

French aerospace major Dassault Aviation on Thursday rejected fresh allegations of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal with India, saying no violations were reported in the frame of the contract. The assertion by the manufacturer of the Rafale jets came days after French publication ‘Mediapart’, citing an investigation by the country’s anti-corruption agency, reported that Dassault Aviation had paid about one million Euros to an Indian middleman.

“Numerous controls are carried out by official organisations, including the French Anti Corruption Agency. No violations were reported, notably in the frame of the contract with India for the acquisition of 36 Rafales,” a Dassault Aviation spokesperson said. The official said Dassault Aviation reiterated that it acts in strict compliance with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Anti Bribery Convention and national laws.

“Since the early 2000s, Dassault Aviation has implemented strict internal procedures to prevent corruption, guaranteeing the integrity, ethics and reputation of the company in its industrial and commercial relations,” the spokesperson said.

The NDA government had signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal on September 23, 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation after a nearly seven-year exercise to procure 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force did not fructify during the UPA regime.

Prior to the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, the Congress raised several questions about the deal, including on rates of the aircraft, and alleged corruption but the government rejected all the charges.

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