Dassault Aviation welcomes SC decision on Rafale fighter jet deal

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Saint Cloud (France): French aerospace major Dassault Aviation on Friday welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court that dismissed petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale fighter jet deal.

The Dassault Aviation issued a statement shortly after the apex court announcement and said, “Dassault Aviation welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of India rendered today dismissing all petitions filed on the Rafale Contract signed on 23rd September 2016 in the frame of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and France”.

The statement further added, “Dassault Aviation takes note of the Supreme Court conclusions establishing the absence of any irregularities in the decision-making process to purchase 36 Rafale, pricing of Rafale jets and selection of Indian offset partners including Anil Ambani owned Reliance Defence by Dassault Aviation.”

The company said it is fully committed in a strong relationship of mutual trust with India. It also added that “all resources of the company have been mobilised 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 (IAF)”.

In a major relief to the Modi government, the apex court made the announcement, sparking bitter exchanges between the BJP and the Congress.

The verdict by the apex court that it found no reason to intervene on what it called the “sensitive issue” of purchase of 36 jets from France came as a political victory for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi just days after the defeat of the party in three Hindi-heartland states—Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh— in the Assembly polls at the hands of the Congress.

PM Modi had come in for a relentless attack from Congress President Rahul Gandhi who alleged corruption in procurement of the fighter jets for the IAF from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, calling it a scam which allegedly benefitted industrialist Anil Ambani.

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