France has ordered judicial enquiry into the Rafale deal with India.
French online journal, Mediapart, has reported that a French judge has been appointed to head a probe into the Rs. 59,000 crore Rafale deal with India for 36 fighter jets.
According to the report, the judge will probe suspected “corruption and favouritism” in the inter-governmental deal that was signed in 2016.
The report says that the probe was formally opened on June 14. It was confirmed on Friday by the financial crimes branch of the French public prosecution services.
Mediapart had earlier reported that the former head of the financial crimes branch of France’s public prosecution services, Éliane Houlette, shelved an investigation into alleged evidence of corruption in the Rafale jet deal despite the objection of colleagues.Her successor as head of the PNF, Jean-François Bohnert, has decided to support the opening of a judicial probe, the news portal says.
In India, the Rafale deal has been controversial with the Opposition, led by the Congress, claiming that the NDA increased the price for each Rafale aircraft three times than the initial bid under the UPA government. Under NDA, the price is at âÂ¹1,670 crore for each aircraft while it was âÂ¹526 crore under UPA, the Congress alleged.
The Supreme Court of India had said it saw nothing wrong in the deal.