The Indian side negotiated with their French counterparts for a year before signing the Rafale agreement, a document by the government submitted to petitioners challenging the procurement deal of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft claimed.
The document titled “Details of the steps in the decision making process leading to the award of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft order” stated that the process as laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 has been followed in procurement of the Rafale aircraft.
The government on Monday submitted the document to petitioners as per a Supreme Court direction on details of the decision taken to procure the fighter aircraft. The process, as laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013, was followed in the procurement of Rafale aircraft, the document read, according to PTI.
The document claims that approval of Defence Acquisition Council and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) was also taken before signing the agreement.
The Supreme Court had, on October 30, directed the government to submit to the petitioners, including former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie along with activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, details of the pricing of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft being purchased from France.
Two former union ministers and Bhushan have sought registration of an FIR into the fighter jet deal between India and France alleging “criminal misconduct” by high public functionaries. The trio has also sought a direction to the CBI to investigate the offences mentioned in their complaint in a “time-bound” manner and submit periodic status reports to the apex court.
India signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in a fly-away condition as part of the upgrading process of the Indian Air Force equipment. The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation. The Indian Air Force had advanced a proposal to buy 126 fighter aircraft in August 2007 and floated a tender. Following this, an invitation was sent to various aviation companies to participate in the bidding process.