Saint Cloud [France]: Dassault Aviation on Friday welcomed the decision by the Supreme Court dismissing all petitions seeking court-monitored probe into the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal.
In a statement, Dassault took note of the apex court conclusions establishing the absence of any irregularities in the decision-making process to purchase 36 Rafale jets, pricing of the jets and selection of Indian offset partners, including the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence, by Dassault Aviation. “Dassault Aviation has proudly supported the needs of the Government of India and the Indian Air Force since 1953 and the induction of the Toofani aircraft. Fully committed in a strong relationship of mutual trust with India for over 65 years now, all resources of Dassault Aviation are entirely mobilized to make the Rafale, chosen by India in 2012 following a very complete competitive bidding process and evaluation, the spearhead of the Indian Air Force,” the statement reads.
“The deal is absolutely clean in accordance with Indian laws and regulations, as I have stated before, and the first Falcon part is currently under delivery out of our facility in Nagpur” has declared Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. The company further said, “Dassault Aviation is dedicated to establishing successfully the ‘Make in India’ as promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dassault Aviation will ensure successful production in the country through the Dassault Reliance Joint Venture in Nagpur as well as through a full-fledged supply chain network already involving 30 companies with which Dassault Aviation signed contracts and additional 60 companies currently under discussions. Dassault Aviation stands committed to continuing its dedication to bringing full support to the needs of India in the future.”
The Rafale jet deal, signed on September 23, 2016, in the frame of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and France, has been on the boil over the last few months. The Congress and other opposition parties have been alleging irregularities in the high-profile deal. The fighter jet is a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, which security analysts believe can be a ‘game-changer’ for India’s defence system.
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed all petitions seeking court-monitored probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal with France, saying that there was no occasion to doubt decision-making process in the deal. The top court said it was not its job to go into the issue of pricing. The bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said that there is no need to conduct an investigation into details of Rafale pricing. “We are satisfied that there is no occasion to doubt the process. Joint exercises have taken place and there is no element of financial benefits. Detailed scrutiny of RafaleDeal deal is not required,” said Gogoi.