Rafale Deal: Prashant Bhushan and Arun Shourie demand CBI probe

Written by CJP | Published on: October 4, 2018

In the latest development in the ongoing controversy surrounding the Rafale deal, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, journalist Arun Shourie and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, have filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asking for an investigation into the role of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a deal allegedly marred with corruption.
 

Prashant Bhushan

Image Courtesy: PTI

The 33 page complaint, addressed to CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma, states facts of the case to explain the reason behind the allegations and holds four people accountable for the questionable deal. These are Modi, Parrikar, Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier and Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani.

In their complaint letter Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan say, “Mr. Modi abused his position as a public servant in order to obtain a valuable thing in the nature of offset contracts for Mr. Ambani. Mr. Modi abused his office that resulted in increase in price of procurement and provided a pecuniary advantage to both —Dassault as well as Mr. Ambani’s R.A.L.”

The complaint further elaborates, “Mr. Modi presided over the government and got the critical persons involved and Contract Negotiation Committee to increase the contract price of the 36 Rafale aircrafts from 715 crores per aircraft as disclosed by Mr. Parrikar to 1660 per aircraft. This resulted in a pecuniary advantage to both, Dassault Aviation and also Mr. Ambani’s R.A.L. This would amounts to Criminal Misconduct under section 13(1)(d) (iii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. There was clearly no public interest involved in allowing such a huge increase in the price of the aircraft which were to be paid out of the public exchequer. In this offence, the other members of the Contract Negotiation Committee as well as the Defence Minister would be complicit and would be abettors.” Additionally, the complaint says, “Dassault Aviation, and more particularly, Mr. Eric Trappier, were induced by way of increase in total price of the procurement to abet in the commission of the aforementioned offences.”

The complainants have urged the CBI to register FIRs against Modi and Parikar, for the offence under section 7(a) & 7(b) & 7(c) read with Explanation 2 of Section 7, of the amended Prevention of Corruption Act, and Section 7, Section 13(1)(d)(ii), & Section 13(1)(d)(iii) of unamended Prevention of Corruption Act, and investigate and prosecute the matter.

The complaint also asks for FIRs to be registered against both Trappier and Ambani. It says, “We call upon you to register an F.I.R. against Dassault Aviation and more particularly, it’s C.E.O., Mr. Eric Trappier, for abetment of the said offences, and investigate and prosecute the matter.” It further adds, “We call upon you to register an F.I.R. against Mr. Anil Ambani for conspiring with the Prime Minister, Mr. Modi, to receive an undue advantage/pecuniary gain against public interest, and investigate and prosecute the matter.”

The entire complaint may be read here:
Complaint attached.