One of the documents of the meeting that took place in May 2017 between trade unions of Dassault Aviation with its senior official, Loïk Segalen, states that the joint venture between Dassault Aviation and Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence Limited is “an unavoidable consequence of the Rafale India contract” and “Make in India” clause.
The document having the sub-title “A new undertaking Dassault Reliance limited (DRAL)” states “it is an unavoidable consequence of the Rafale India contract which insisted on ‘Make in India’ clauses in order to be signed”.
Last week, French media portal Mediapart had claimed that it is in possession of a document of Dassault Aviation which stated that choosing Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Defence Limited was “imperative and mandatory” to get their hands on the deal.
The document quoted by Mediapart was based on the presentation given by aircraft manufacturer’s deputy chief executive officer Loïk Segalen to staff representatives in Nagpur in May 2017.
“It was imperative and mandatory for Dassault Aviation to accept this counterpart in order to get the contract,” the report quoted the purported document as saying.
Former French President Francois Hollande raked up the controversy when he was quoted in a French media report that it was the Indian Government which insisted on choosing Reliance Defence as Dassault’s offset partner in the Rafale deal and that they had no say in it.
The Supreme Court, on October 10, had instructed the government to apprise it of the steps taken in the decision-making process in the Rafale deal.
“We make it clear that we are not issuing any notice at this stage. However, we would like to be apprised by the Government of India of the details of the steps in the decision-making process leading to the award of the order for the defence equipment in question i.e. Rafale jet fighters (36 in number),” a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.