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India: Government resists probe of warplane deal

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 5, 2019
The prime minister’s office (PMO) monitoring a multibillion-dollar French warplane deal in no way constitutes interference, the government told India’s Supreme Court on Saturday.
India warplane deal
Asia   The deal has triggered controversy in the country
In an affidavit to the court, the government said, “The monitoring of the progress by PMO of this Government-to-Government process cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations.”

In two affidavits to the court, the government has argued against any review of a December 2018 ruling dismissing probes of alleged irregularities in the Dassault Rafale airplane deal, said local media reports.

The deal has triggered controversy in the country, with the main opposition Congress Party accusing Prime Minister Modi of making the purchase at a price three times higher than what was negotiated in 2014, when the Congress Party was in power. It has demanded that Modi be investigated over the deal.

Modi and his government have repeatedly denied the allegations.

Last year, the Supreme Court rejected calls to probe the deal, but now is hearing review petitions in the case.

Shooting back, the government says the petitioners are relying on media reports and unauthorized evidence to get an inquiry into the deal, reported New Delhi Television (NDTV).