New Delhi: Amid the political controversy over Rafale deal with France, an NGO in the country has filed a complaint with France’s Financial Prosecutor’s Office, demanding clarification on the conditions under which the contract was signed. It has also sought an investigation into choice of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as an offset partner by Dassault Aviation, the makers of the jet.
The complaint was filed at the end of October by Sherpa Association, an NGO, which claims to fight ‘economic crimes’ in the country.
In its press release, the NGO said that it expects the National Public Prosecutor’s Office to “promptly investigate the seriousness of the facts and the presumptions on the reported offences: potential corruption, grant of undue advantages, trading in influence, complicity of these offences, concealment of corruption and laundering of these offences.”
Speaking to French newsportal Mediapart, William Bourdon, the founder of Sherpa, reportedly said,”Everything indicates that it is likely to be a very serious matter. The information communicated to the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office should lead to the opening of an investigation as soon as possible.”
Notably, the deal for the 36 fighter jets with France has sparked a huge political controversy in India as Congress president Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly alleged a mega scam accusing the Modi government of favouring a private company in offset contract related to the Rs 58,000-crore defence agreement with Paris. However, the government has vehemently denied Gandhi’s charges.
On Friday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attacked Congress president Rahul Gandhi and said that he is ‘misguiding’ people on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal. She also advised him to approach her predecessor A K Antony of the Congress to understand the process of defence procurement.