Rafale Deal Announced By Prime Minister Even Before Defence Approval

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The document shared by the Modi Government to the Supreme Court in October was handed over to the petitioners of the Rs. 59,000 crore Rafale case on Monday. On analysing the dates and contents of the document, it further leads to many other questions which have been unanswered till date.

 

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Dates Mentioned in the Document :

  • 10th April, 2015 : Narendra Modi personally announced in Paris that the government will be going ahead with the purchase of 36 Rafale Jets from France
  • 13th May 2015 : Paragraph No. 23 in the document states that the Acceptance of Necessity (AON) for 36 Jets was only approved by the Defence Aquisition Council (DAC) on this date, which is almost a month later than the PM’s announcement. The DAC here, was chaired by the Defence Minister on 13th May 2015. It is imperative to note that the AON is always the first step in the process of procuring any defence related material/item and nothing can be announced or made public without the acceptance from the AON.

 

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What do the above dates indicate? The series of dates make it apparent that the IAF was never consulted before making the announcement for the requirement in April 2015. This directly points fingers at the Prime Minister and spells some sort of corruption involved in the alleged scam. There are many cases where a number of items for procurement can be listed on defence platforms, however, every equipment demanded may not result into government getting involved. The participation of the government only happens when the requirement is approved by AON. Thus, Narendra Modi announcing the deal in April clearly defies any logic as well as statuary compliance in the field of defence.

If we recall, on 21st September this year, the Former French President, Francois Hollande had spill beans over the said scam. He was instrumental and in-charge while the deal had been signed in 2015. During his interview with the French Media, he clearly said that it was the Indian government who proposed this service group (read Reliance) and Dassault only negotiated with the group head Anil Ambani. He further emphasised that the French government has absolutely No Choice in deciding the Indian partner for Rafale.

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The series of events can be argued perhaps citing internal understanding between government and defence. However, these are hypothetical and subjective matters which need to be decided by the honourable Supreme Court of India only.

It is also critical to understand what makes the deal lead to corruption and thus, we need to comprehend the pricing factors for the said agreement. The below charts clearly demonstrate a whopping 40% increase in the pricing paid by Modi Government per Rafale Jet.

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Where is the Money Trail?

(I) As per an exclusive report published by The Wire, in 2017, Dassault has made a mysterious investment of approximately 20 million Euros in a non-defence venture of Anil Ambani. This is a loss making company which has Zero revenues.

(II) This dead investment also translated into a Rs. 284 crore profit for the Ambani group’s Reliance Infrastructure, that sold shares in their subsidiary, Reliance Airport Developers Limited (RADL) at a much higher premium

(III) Rs. 284 crore is three percent of approximate 15% of Rs. 59,000 crore which Modi government has already paid to Dassault

(IV) As per an analysis done by The News Central 24/7, this money could have been routed back to the Ruling Party via electoral bonds initiated by Modi Government. However, the report does state that it is impossible to track any funds transferred via electoral bonds to the BJP

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The question remains whether Supreme Court of India will initiate a deeper enquiry in the pricing and the differencing of 40% per jet. Shouldn’t there be a CAG involvement in this alleged scam to unearth the missing links with regards to the huge amounts paid through Indians?

 

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