New Delhi, Oct 11: A French media report has suggested the a senior official win Dassault Aviation saw the partnership with Anil Ambani's Reliance Group as imperative and mandatory to getting the export contract with India for the Rafale aircraft.
Mediapart while quoting an internal Dassault Aviation document detailing a presentation that deputy chief executive officer Loïk Segalen gave to worker representatives explaining the rationale for setting up a joint venture in Nagpur with Reliance Aerospace.
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Segalen, during the presentation described the joint venture as a contrepartie to getting the export contract India. Contrepartie roughly translates to compensation or to refer to something given as compensation.
Last month former French President, Francois Hollande was quoted by Mediapart as saying that France was given no choice on selection of the Indian partner for Dassault and the Indian government proposed the name of Reliance to partner with the French aerospace giant.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after talks with Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris. The final deal was sealed on September 23, 2016.
These developments come just ahead of the visit by Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman to France during which both sides will deliberate on boosting the already close ties.
On Monday the Supreme Court sought details on the decision making process that resulted in the award of the Rafale Deal. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said they are not on the suitability of the Rafale jets, but only on the decision making process. It further said that the information in this regard would be submitted in a sealed cover.
The Bench said that it has not taken into account the allegations in the petitions. The court also said that the issue of pricing and suitability of the aircraft will not be covered in detail by it.