New Delhi: On Thursday, Dassault Aviation, producer of the 4.5 generation Rafale fighter jets, rejected allegations of corruption in the deal with India. The French aerospace major today published a statement and stated that there had been no violations in the case of the government-to-government deal contracted with India for the supply of 36 Rafale fighter jets in ready-to-fly form.
Dassault published the report days after a French publication known as Mediapart claimed that the jet maker had spent nearly one million Euros to an Indian middleman for the contract. The statement based its charges on an inquiry carried out by France’s anti-corruption agency.”Numerous controls are carried out by official organizations, 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 representative said.
Dassault Aviation runs fairly and complies rigorously 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. It may be remarked here that the ruling NDA government in India had signed a Rs 59,000-crore deal with Dassault on September 23, 2016, to acquire 36 Rafale jets. The government-to-government contract had come after the former UPA government’s effort to get 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force lost to produce any result.
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It is not the initial time the NDA government’s Rafale contract has faced charges of corruption. In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the opposition Congress party had frequently claimed corruption in the deal and asked questions over the agreed price of the aircraft. The Narendra Modi government had denied all the charges.