French NGO files complaint against Rafale deal, seeks clarification

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A French NGO had filed a complaint with their country’s Financial Prosecutor’s Office demanding an investigation into alleged corruption in the fighter-jet deal.

The NGO, Sherpa that fights “economic crimes”, in a press statement said, it wanted clarification on the “conditions” under which the deal to sell India 36 Rafale fighters was reached.

The complaint was lodged on October 26 2018 and it “follows the complaint lodged on the 4th of October 2018 by a former Indian Minister and an anti-corruption lawyer with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi, against the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “abuse of authority” and “grant of undue advantages” in connection with the sale of Rafale,” according to an official press release of Sherpa.

Moreover, Sherpa demanded clarity on the choice of Reliance Defence as the main offsets partner for the Rafale deal.

“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,” the statement added.

The Supreme Court of India on November 14 had reserved its verdict on the filed petitions that demanded a court-monitored probe into the Rafale deal in which the Indian government bought 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.