Sinha demands forensic audit of Rafale deal

BJP veteran and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha. (PTI File Pic)

Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has called for the forensic audit of the Rafale deal, alleging that the due procedures were not followed in the purchase of fighter planes.

"I have suggested that comptroller and auditor general (CAG) should immediately do a forensic audit of this deal. It will bring out the criminal intent in it," Sinha told reporters here.

He also said that he is not in favour of the joint parliamentary committee as it can be only set up by November when parliament meets for next session. "After that only a few months of this Lok Sabha would be left and everybody by then would be in an election mode. The JPC would not be able to finish its task," he said

A forensic audit is an examination and evaluation of a firm's or individual's financial information for use as evidence in court. A forensic audit can be conducted in order to prosecute a party for fraud, embezzlement or other financial claims.

According to Sinha due procedure wasn't followed in the deal. Alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is responsible for it, he said, " So whose decision was it? The Prime Minister alone took that decision during that visit to Paris. And therefore he is personally responsible for it. There are no partners in this crime. He is solely and wholly responsible."

Sinha asked why the government did not take into consideration rival company Euro Fighter's letter of July 14, 2015 to the Government saying it would supply the aircraft for less than 20% of the price of Dassault.

He also questioned the governments intent scrapping out Hindustan Aeronautic (HAL) out of the deal.

"What is more surprising is the fact that HAL wasn't even given offset part of the deal ......... The government is saying that it was the French company's prerogative to select the offset. The offset rules are very clearly defined by the government. One of the rules states that each of the offset contracts will be approved by no less a person the Defence Minister. They gave it to a company with zero experience and that was set up 20 days before the deal. Nobody is going to buy this theory," he said.

The deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets was signed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited France in April 2015.

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Sinha demands forensic audit of Rafale deal

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