The story of the purchase of the Rafale fighter aircraft from the privately-owned French company Dassault Aviation is different from, and yet similar to, other scandals relating to defence equipment including the purchase of Bofors guns. The deal relating to the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets in a government-to-government deal is a transaction in which the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi was directly involved, or so his own defence minister and others have testified.
As we publish, an investigation is going on in France on whether there was corruption and illegal kickbacks in the deal, that involves corporate entities including those in the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and other groups.
The authors, independent journalists Ravi Nair and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, have placed on record all sides to the story by interviewing dozens of knowledgeable persons, those supportive of, as well as those opposed to, the Rafale deal to ascertain if public interest has been properly served.
This is hardly the first defence purchase deal to attract considerable public attention and which has raised allegations of corruption and favouritism, it is by far the largest scandal of its kind to have come to light so far.
This the deepest dive into the scandal so far but the full story about the Rafale deal is yet to be told.