The particular move will have significant implications on the Modi government which is due to fight in the Lok Sabha election later in the year as the government had always claimed to eliminate corruption as one of its major agenda for governance
The Narendra Modi-led government waived off critical provisions for anti-corruption penalties as well as overruled financial advisers’ recommendations for an escrow account for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), days before the signing of the Rafale deal between India and France, The Hindu reported.
The particular move will have significant implications on the Modi government which is due to fight in the Lok Sabha election later in the year as the government had always claimed to eliminate corruption as one of its major agenda for governance.
During the general elections in 2014, it had promised action against alleged corruption in defence deals struck during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the report said.
On February 8, The Hindu published an article on how the defence ministry had raised strong objections against the “parallel discussions” between the Prime Minister’s Office and its French counterpart on the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale fighter jet deal.
The report created quite a ruckus in the Lok Sabha with the defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman refuting the story. However, the story has found its place in the material submitted by the government to the Supreme Court.
“The high-level political intervention meant that standard Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) clauses on “Penalty for use of Undue Influence, Agents/Agency Commission, and Access to Company accounts” of Dassault Aviation and MBDA France were dropped by the Indian government in the supply protocols. Under the terms of the IGA signed between India and France in Delhi on September 23, 2016, Dassault is the supplier of the Rafale aircraft package while MBDA France is the supplier of the weapons package to the Indian Air Force,” the report added.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had convened in September 2016 and had ratified and approved eight changes to the IGA, supply protocols, offset contracts and offset schedules, the report said, adding that it was done after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by the Prime Minister approved it on August 24, 2016.