According to The Hindu, the high-level political intervention meant that standard Defence Procurement Procedure clauses on “Penalty for use of Undue Influence, Agents/Agency Commission, and Access to Company Accounts” of Rafale jet-maker Dassault Aviation and missile-maker MBDA France were dropped by the government in the supply protocols.
Under the Inter-Governmental Agreement signed between India and France in Delhi on September 23, 2016, Dassault is the supplier of the Rafale aircraft package and MBDA France is the supplier of the weapons package to the Indian Air Force.
“Changes were made at the last minute. What is the interest behind the changes? Why would the Indian Air Force benefit from anti-corruption clauses being dropped and no escrow account?” N Ram, Chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group, said to NDTV on his exclusive report.
The Hindu has cited official documents that reveal that the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar met in September 2016 and approved eight changes in the inter-governmental agreement, supply protocols, offset contracts and offset schedules.