François Hollande, who was the President at the time of the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale jets deal with India, and the current President Emmanuel Macron are also expected to be questioned. Macron was the finance minister at the time of the deal, so questions will be raised about his performance. At the same time, the then Defense Minister and now the Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian can also be questioned. According to Mediapart, this judicial inquiry was ordered by the office of the French National Financial Prosecutor (PNF).
What is the charge?
The allegation is that Dassault Aviation, the company that made the Rafale fighter plane, paid a huge amount as a bribe to an intermediary to get this contract from India. In such a situation, the investigation committee in France is finding out whether this money had reached the Indian authorities or not.
The first complaint was given in 2019, the PNF chief suppressed
Mediapart journalist Yann Filippin gave several reports one after the other regarding the Rafale deal. It was claimed that the first complaint in this case was given in 2019, but the then PNF chief Aliane Haulete suppressed the complaint. Giving this information by tweeting, Yan said, ‘After the revelations started by MediaPart named Rafale Papers, the judicial inquiry finally started. Now the new head of the PNF, Jean-François Boehrt, has decided to support the investigation.
Is this the whole matter?
On September 23, 2016, the NDA government of India signed an agreement worth Rs 59,000 crore with French airline Dassault Aviation for the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft. Seven years before the deal, the Congress-led UPA coalition government had pushed hard for the purchase of 126 medium multifunctional warplanes for the Air Force, but the plan did not materialise.
The Congress had accused the government of irregularities regarding this deal. The party said that despite the UPA government fixing the price of a Rafale at Rs 526 crore, the NDA government bought an aircraft for Rs 1,670 crore. However, she has vehemently denied the allegations of rigging in this deal.