Congress calls for independent enquiry in Rafale deal after French report

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday demanded an independent inquiry and asked five questions to the Central government after a French journal report revealed that the Rafale deal involved a payment of 1.1 million euros to an Indian middlemen. French publication “Mediapart” in their report, citing an investigation by the country’s anti-corruption agency, said that Dassault, the manufacturer of French fighter Jet Rafale paid one million Euro to a middleman in India just after the India-France deal for 36 Rafales were signed. Congress has now asked if the latest revelation has affected India’s biggest defence deal.

Talking about first of three-part series by Mediapart, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Was the payment of €1.1 million shown by Dassault as ‘gifts to clients’ in reality a commission paid to middleman for the Rafale Deal? How can ‘middleman’ and ‘payment of commission’ be permitted in a ‘government to government defence contract’ or in any defence procurement in India in violation of the mandatory defence procurement procedure?” Surjewala said.

The Congress leader further said that the latest revelation is enough to impose heavy financial penalties on Dassault including banning of the company, registration of FIR and other penal consequence.

“Does it now not require a full and independent investigation into India’s biggest defence deal to find out as to how much bribery and commission in reality, if any, was paid and to whom in the Indian government?” the Congress said, wondering if Prime Minister Narendra Modi would answer to the nation on the issue

The Congress further demanded that standard procedures such as lodging an FIR, independent investigation and related move must be followed in the case. It also added that the defence procurement has an integrity clause that clearly stresses that there can be no middleman or payment of commission of bride. 

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