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The government dismissed allegations such as the “Reliance Group paid 1.48 million Euros to former French President Francois Hollande’s partner’s venture.” It said these charges were “matters of individual perceptions” of the petitioners.
It said DPP-2013 was followed and approval of the Defence Acquisition Council was taken for the procurement of the Rafale aircraft.
In contracts signed with Rosoboronexport, the requirement of bank guarantees was waived off in view of assurances provided through a ‘Letter of Comfort’ from the government of the Russian Federation, the government said, adding, “Similarly, in Foreign Military Sales (FMS) with the US government, no sovereign/bank guarantee is signed.”Further, in the Rafale procurement, the French government had proposed to provide ‘outstanding guarantees’ as per the IGA and a ‘Letter of Comfort’ from the French Prime Minister, the government noted.
It reiterated that it had no role in selection of the Indian Offset Partner, which is a commercial decision of Dassault Aviation.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was “monitoring” the progress of the 36 Rafale jets’ purchase deal, but this cannot be taken as “parallel negotiations” with the French side, the government told the Supreme Court on Saturday.
The submission follows the court’s directive on Tuesday last that the government respond to the Rafale deal case review petitions by Saturday. “The monitoring of the progress by the PMO of this government to government process cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations,” the government said.
The DPP mandates that any defence deal worth over Rs. To this, the government simply claimed “DPP does not mandate approvals prior to conveying an intent or making an announcement.” It said a waiver of sovereign guarantee in Inter Governmental Agreements (IGA) was “not unusual”.
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A series of reports published by The Hinduhad revealed that the PMO was conducting “parallel negotiations.” A Defence Ministry note that was published said the “parallel parleys” had “weakened the negotiating position of Mo D [Ministry of Defence] and Indian Negotiating Team." But the government denied any reason for objection from the Ministry.
It referred to how then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar himself had noted that “it appears that PMO and French President’s office are monitoring the progress of the issues which was an outcome of the summit meeting”.