‘Rafale is India’s Biggest Defence Scam, Modi Govt guilty of presenting falsehood to SC’ – Pallam Raju
Mangaluru: “Rafale Scam is India’s Biggest Defence Scam and is an open and shut case of Corruption. Modi Govt is guilty of presenting falsehood to the Supreme Court and committing perjury as also breaching the privilege of Parliament. Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi has exposed the ‘web of lies’ of Modi Govt. Rafale Scam is a sordid saga of causing loss to public exchequer, squandering ‘National Interests’, compromising ‘National Security’, by-passing the interests of Public Sector Undertaking- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and propagating the culture of ‘Crony Capitalism’”, said the PRO of KPCC and the former central minister Pallam Raju in a press meet held at the DCC office Mallikatta here on December 18.
Addressing the mediapersons Pallam Raju said that there are seven important facets of the Rafale Scam.
1.‘Rafale’ Pricing – ₹41,205 Crore Loss of Public Money! Per aircraft price of Rafale as per international bid opened on 12.12.2012, during UPA-Congress Govt, comes to ₹526.10Cr i.e. ₹18,940Cr for 36 aircrafts. Modi Govt purchased 36 Rafale aircrafts for Euro 7.5 Billion (₹1670.70Cr per aircraft) i.e. ₹60,145 Cr for 36 aircrafts. This has caused a loss of ₹41,205Cr to the people?
2. PSU HAL denied Rs 30,000 Cr Offset Contract to favour Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence.
A. On March 13, 2014, a Workshare Agreement was signed between HAL and Rafale-Dassault Aviation.
B. On March 25, 2015, Dassault CEO went to HAL Factory in Bangalore and spoke about HAL-Dassault relationships in presence of the Air Force Chief.
C. On April 8, 2015, even the Foreign Secretary had admitted HAL-Rafale Agreement.
D. Reliance Defence Ltd. and Reliance Aerostructure Ltd. had zero experience of manufacturing fighter aircrafts as against forty years of experience of HAL.
Why did PM Modi then promote the interests of a private corporate entity over a public sector undertaking by denying HAL a Rs 30,000 Crore contract?
Reliance Company’s website ‘R. Infra’ reflects that they are also undertaking offset obligations worth Rs 30,000 Cr. In addition, they claim to have to secure ‘Life Cycle Cost Contract’ worth Rs 1,00,000 Cr.
A ₹30,000 Cr Contract was given to a 12-day old company i.e Reliance Defence by ignoring the Govt Company, HAL. Reliance Defence Ltd. (which got the offset contract from Rafale-Dassault Aviation for ₹ 30,000 Cr) was incorporated on 28.03.2015 i.e 12 days before the announcement of the purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts by PM in France on 10.04.2015.
3. Bypassing “Defence Procurement Procedure”, “Cabinet Committee on Security” & “Defence Acquisition Council”
Why did the PM violate the Mandatory ‘Defence Procurement Procedure’ (DPP) on April 10, 2015, while announcing off the shelf purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts? Why were the requirements of DPP i.e. Price Discovery through ‘Contract Negotiation Committee’ (CNC) and ‘Price Negotiation Committee’ (PNC) not followed?
Why did PM Modi bypass the “Defence Acquisition Council”(DAC)? On April 10, 2015, the PM announced the purchase of 36 Rafale jets in Paris. But, “Acceptance of Necessity” to purchase 36 Rafale jets by the Defence Acquisition Council was decided a month later on 13.05.2015. How did the PM know a month in advance about the decision of the DAC?
Why did the PM not take the mandatory prior approval of ‘Cabinet Committee on Security’, which is mandatory as per DPP, before announcing the purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts on April 10, .2015? Cabinet Committee on Security granted a post-facto approval 1 year and 4 months later on 24.08.2016.
On April 8, 2015; Foreign Secretary denied any proposal regarding the purchase of Rafale Aircrafts during PM Modi’s visit to France two days later? Will PM Modi tell the Nation as to what transpired in 48 hours between 8th April to 10th April 2015 whereby it was decided to announce the purchase of 36 Rafale Aircrafts?
4. Compromising National Security- reducing the number of aircrafts & sacrificing “Transfer of Technology”
Admittedly, IAF has a minimum operational requirement of 126 fighter aircrafts. This was the basis for the ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) issued by Congress-UPA, which also contained manufacture of 108 aircrafts by HAL with the transfer of technology. Why did PM Modi unilaterally reduce the number of fighter aircrafts to be purchased for Indian Air Force from 126 to 36? Why was no advice is taken or requirement sought from the Indian Air Force? Why did the PM forego the most crucial component of “transfer of technology” to India?
5. PM Modi enhanced the “Benchmark Price” of Rafale jets from Euro 5.2Billion to Euro 8.2 Billion.
Sudhanshu Mohanty, Head of Finance, Ministry of Defence (up till May 2016) has ‘spilled the beans’ indicating the Modi Govt for corrupt practices in fixing a higher ‘benchmark price’ i.e. from Euro5.2 Billion (₹ 39,422 Cr) to Euro 8.2 Billion (₹ 62,166 Cr) for Rafale aircrafts.
(i)‘Negotiating Team’ had a serious dispute on the fixing of ‘Benchmark Price’, which was referred to the then Defence Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar.
(ii)(The then Defence Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar as also the ‘Defence Acquisition Council’ (DAC) headed by Defence Minister and the 3 Armed Forces Chiefs didn’t agree and decide on the higher ‘Benchmark Price’ of Euro8.2 Billion (₹ 62,166 Cr). DAC referred it to ‘Cabinet Committee on Security’ (CCS) headed by PM Modi.
(iii) PM Modi in CCS accepted the higher ‘Benchmark Price’ of Euro8.2 Billion instead of Euro5.2 Billion.
Why did PM Modi set a higher ‘benchmark price’ of Euro8.2 Billion (₹ 62,166 Cr)?
6. Why did PM Modi compromise “National Interests” & waive ‘Sovereign Guarantee’ in Rafale deal?
i. On 9.12.2015, Law Ministry flagged the issue of ‘No Bank Guarantee’/‘Sovereign Guarantee’ by French Govt and noted the concern that the deal involves huge payouts from public exchequer without actual delivery in form of advance payments.
ii. On 7.03.2016, the then Defence Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar refused to opine or accept the ‘Letter of Comfort’ in lieu of the ‘Bank- French Government Guarantee’.
iii. On 18.08.2016, ‘Air Acquisition Wing’ of Def Ministry put up a note stating that “Bank Guarantees may be insisted from French as required under our procedure & Indian side may bear Bank Guarantee charges.”
iv. On August 23, 2016, Law Ministry again reiterated to the Defence Ministry about the requirement of ‘French Government-Sovereign Guarantee’ as a condition of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
v. On August 24, 2016, i.e. the very next day, PM Modi, in CCS, accepts the ‘Letter of Comfort’ and waives off the condition of ‘Bank Guarantee/French Government Sovereign Guarantee’.
Despite contrary opinion being expressed by the Law Ministry, why did the PM compromise National Interests by waiving the ‘Bank Guarantee/French Govt’s Sovereign Guarantee’ in violation of DPP?
7. Who has enquired into the “Money Trail” of Rafale Scam by which Dassault Aviation purchased an Rs. 10 Share of a shell company-Reliance Airport Developers Ltd. at a premium of 11,000% by investing Euro 40 Million (around 284 crores)
A. On 10.04.2015, PM Modi announces purchase of 36 Rafale jets in Paris, France.
B. On 23.09.2016, Modi Government signed the Rafale Contract.
C. In December 2016, media reports suggest that 15% of the Rupees 62,000 crores was paid in advance by the Modi Government to Dassault Aviation.
D. In 2017, Dassault Aviation buys 24,84,000 shares (face value of Rs. 10 each) of a defunct company with assets worth merely Rs. 8 lakhs at an 11,000% premium (that is a price of Rs. 1154 per share) by paying Euro 40 Million.
Was this the first installment of corruption money? Why did Dassault Aviation buy shares at 11,000% premium of a defunct company with Rs. 8 lakh turnover? Is it not a case of enquiry?
Falsehood Perpetuated By Modi Government in Supreme Court
1. Congress Party has always said that the Supreme Court is not the appropriate forum to decide on the issues of corruption, pricing, specifications, crony capitalism in the Rafale case. Supreme Court cannot summon and examine all the file notings, examine witnesses on oath including questioning the Prime Minister as also Defence Ministry officials or accept other evidence. This can only be done by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). This stance was articulated by INC on November 15, 2018 in a press conference.
This is the reason why the Congress Party never went to the Supreme Court and consistently insisted on a JPC probe.
2. Even the Supreme Court verdict dated December 14, 2018, concedes that it is not the appropriate forum and cannot decide the issue of pricing, specifications, and technical suitability. Supreme Court also concedes that its jurisdiction is restricted:
Para 12: “It was also made clear that the issue of pricing or matters relating to technical suitability of the equipment would not be gone into by the Court.”
Para 15: “It is in the backdrop of the above facts and the somewhat constricted power of judicial review that, we have held, would be available in the present matter that we now proceed to scrutinize the controversy raised”
Para 33: “Once again, it is neither appropriate nor within the experience of this Court to step into this arena of what is technically feasible or not.”
Para 34:“We, however, make it clear that our views as above are primarily from the standpoint of the exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India which has been invoked in the present group of cases.” In view of these clear findings, the entire bravado of the Modi Government in giving itself a “clean chit” is baseless and false.
Let Modi Govt Reply to the Nation on these 11 Questions:-
1. In Para 25, the Supreme Court refers to CAG report, its examination by PAC and CAG report being in ‘Public Domain’. Truth is there is NO CAG Report. Shri Malikarjun Kharge, Chairman of the PAC, has come forward and stated that neither has the PAC received a CAG report nor has the so-called CAG report been discussed in the PAC or presented to Parliament. Since there is no CAG Report, isn’t the Supreme Court judgment suffers from an incurable flaw? Did Modi Govt play a fraud on the court?
2. In Paras 32 & 30, the Supreme Court records that there was a continuing Agreement between Reliance and Dassault Aviation for offset contracts since the year 2012. This is another lie that was fed.
Reliance Defence Ltd. was incorporated on March 28th, 2015 and its subsidiary company Reliance Aerostructure Ltd. (referred to by the Supreme Court) was incorporated on April 24th, 2015. Hence, Reliance Defence (that is the parent company) came into existence 13 days before PM Modi announced the purchase of aircrafts on April 10th, 2015. Reliance Aerostructure came into existence 14 days thereafter, and not in 2012.
Why was the Supreme Court misled on the selection of the ‘Offset Partner’?
3. In Para 32, Supreme Court says there is a categorical denial from every side of the French President, Francois Hollande’s statement that Indian Govt forced its hands to select Reliance Defence as Offset Partner. French President Francois Hollande has never denied or retracted his statement. In fact, Mr. Hollande and his office reiterated his statement on when asked for a clarification on 21-9-2018. On 27-9-2018, the current French President, Emmanuel Macron, refused to controvert his predecessor, Francois Hollande’s statement. Why did the Modi Govt misstate facts on the denial of the statement of President Francois Hollande?
4. In Para 32, the Supreme Court has said that no specific role of HAL was envisaged. This is wrong.
i. There was a workshare Agreement signed on March 13th, 2014 between HAL and Dassault Aviation for executing the offset contract. This was a specifically written relationship.
ii. Even on March 25th, 2015 (barely 14 days before PM Modi announced the purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts) Dassault CEO had visited the HAL factory in the presence of the Indian Air Force Chief and had confirmed the relationship of offsets between HAL and Dassault on the Rafale deal. Why did Modi Govt deceive the Supreme Court by withholding these crucial facts?
5. In Para 20, the Supreme Court recorded petitioners’ claim that instead of a compulsory ‘Sovereign Guarantee’ under IGA, a ‘Letter of Comfort’ only was provided by the French Govt. Why did Modi Govt hoodwink the court by skirting this issue?
6. In Para 3, Supreme Court records that Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved and Modi Govt proceeded to announce the purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts on 10.4.2015. But the DAC met on 13-5-2015 i.e a full month after Modi Govt’s announcement. Why did Modi Govt cheat the Supreme Court then?
7. In Para 23, Supreme Court says that prior to the expose by French President, Hollande on 21-9-2018, nobody objected to the deal. This is factually wrong as the Congress party had exposed the scam 23-5-2015 itself and multiple times thereafter. Why was SC duped by not placing these facts before it?
8. In Para 25, Supreme Court records that Air Force Chief objected to divulging the pricing of the Rafale Deal. This is false because neither the IAF Chief presented himself to SC, nor gave an affidavit. No IAF official made a submission to the Supreme Court regarding pricing. Who misinformed the Supreme Court?
9. In Para 22, Supreme Court records that the decision to reduce Rafale aircrafts from 126 to just 36 is a policy decision. Why was the reason for compromising National Security by reducing the aircrafts from 126 to 36 not disclosed? Why was Air Force not consulted?
10. In Para 33, Supreme Court records that according to Defence Procurement Procedure, 2013, the L1 vendor (Dassault) can choose its Offset Partner. Why did the Modi Govt hide the fact that this clause was inserted in DPP-2013 on 5-8-2015 only, i.e after announcing the purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts on 10-4-2015?
11. In Para 25, Supreme Court records that Modi Govt has submitted to it that Rafale is a ‘commercially profitable deal’. Since all the Indian Specific Enhancement, Weaponry & Avionics of the Congress-UPA deal of 126 aircrafts are same as 36 aircrafts deal by Modi Govt. Why has the price gone up from Rs 526 Cr to 1670 Cr?
Former MLA J R Lobo, former MUDA Chairman Suresh Ballal, Corporator Naveen D’Souza and others were also present.