Rafale: Dassault had refused to partner with Bhandari headed OIS because of proximity to Robert Vadra

As the debate into the Rafale deal further heats with former French president claiming that Indian government proposed Reliance as offset partner, which both current French government and Dassault Aviation have denied now, there is a need to revisit some details about India’s effort to buy Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) since the beginning.

We have already reported that during the first round of bidding for MMRCA, Dassault had chosen Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries are their offset partner and refused to take responsibility for planes made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which ultimately led to the cancellation of the deal.

Although Reliance had signed a MoU with Dassault, reliance lost interest in defence and aviation business after some time, and they allowed the MoU lapse in 2014. At that time there was no clarity about the future of the deal as both Dassault and GOI were adamant on their position about HAL. When the MoU lapsed, company called Offsets India Solutions (OIS) approached Dassault for a possible tie-up. At that time OIS used to be present at all international events in the defence offset sector. An Economic Times report states that “There was considerable pressure to tie up for a partnership. Proposals were made several times and through several people.”

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

OIS promoter was Sanjay Bhandari, who was allegedly linked with Robert Vadra, Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law. As reported by Economic Times, Few rounds of talks had taken place between the two companies. But when Dassault came to know about Bhandari’s links with Vadra, they decided against partnering with his firm. Reportedly, the Vadra link was one of the main reasons Dassault refused the deal.

Bhandari was under investigation since 2010 in the charges of wrongly influencing defence deals. In May 2016, his offices were raided by Income Tax Department as part of an investigation in a tax evasion case against Bhandari and his company. During the raids, confidential defence ministry documents were found in his possession, which included documents related to India’s proposal to buy mid-air refuellers. The documents were allegedly related to defence purchases and proposals placed before the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). There were also allegedly copies of minutes of the Contract Negotiation Committee meeting for purchasing refuellers. After this find, he was booked under the Official Secrets Act by Delhi Police. After that Bhandari managed to escape to London before he could be questioned further.

In the documents recovered during these raids, agencies had found some email exchanges between Bhandari and Robert Vadra. According to a report, when ED had confronted Bhandari with the emails, he had acknowledged the email exchanges between him and Vadra. Emails and phone calls scrutinised by investigators also reveal that Bhandari was in regular contact with bureaucrats and politicians apart from private companies in the defence sector. Sources reveal that Bhandari and Vadra were spotted together in social circles and arms expos in various part of the world.

On further investigation by Enforcement Directorate, he was also booked under PMLA and in December last year, ED had seized assets worth ₹26.61 crore belonging to Bhandari. The property was seized in lieu of undisclosed assets held aboard by him.

In January this year, Sanjay Bhandari was declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ by a Delhi court under the Official Secrets Act, due to failure to attend before the court. He is also under CBI investigation for his links with to alleged malpractices in the selection of a Swiss aircraft, Pilatus PC-7. The defence ministry has since suspended all dealings with OIS.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

AAP propagandist tweets false claim about Adani Group, deletes due to fear of defamation

Earlier Delhi's Education Minister Manish Sisodia had also tweeted false claim about Adani Group

Rahul Gandhi’s lucrative and seemingly clandestine means of income and his links to scam accused FTIL, Unitech

How does Rahul Gandhi earn to buy land and other properties? A mystery we try to unravel
Prakash Raj was welcomed with pro-Modi slogans in Bengaluru

Actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj greeted with pro-Modi slogans as he went to file his nomination

Prakash Raj seemed visibly miffed with a large number of Modi supporters welcoming him with pro-Modi slogans in Bengaluru
Congress' official twitter handle tweets the wrong date of Shahidi Diwas

BJP’s aggressive candidate list for 2019 election like a blizzard on Congress led by Rahul Gandhi

The boldness of BJP is apparent in that it has 21 present Union and ministers of state in the list, alongside the candidature of its party president, Amit Shah from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Watch: Embarrassment for Hardik Patel, crowd chants ‘Modi, Modi’ as he addresses a Holi event

Red-faced, Hardik Patel had to stop speaking and left the place soon after

How Caravan and Congress’ attempts to create ‘bribegate’ before 2019 election fell flat

The 'bribegate' that Congress and The Caravan tried to cried falls flat on its face on several counts. 
Rahul Gandhi

Staring at an imminent defeat in Amethi, Congress on the scout to secure a safe seat for Rahul Gandhi

The Congress units of southern states have been feverishly imploring Rahul Gandhi to fight from any constituencies in southern states, apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh .

‘Krantikari’ journalist Punya Prasun Bajpai sacked, again, this time from Surya Samachar

Punya Prasun Bajpai and his team of 25 had joined Surya Samachar last month

The Wire journalist wishes Holi with ‘Bismillah’, devout Muslims say it’s against Islam

Celebrating Hindu religious festivals is not the only that triggers abuses and threats from Muslim radicals

Jammu and Kashmir Police officer Imtiyaz Hussain claims his life being under threat after he exposed Pro-Pak Islamists and ‘journalists’

Jammu and Kashmir policeman reveals how certain 'journalists' work hand in glove with the enemies across the border in Pakistan

Latest articles

Connect with us

148,546FansLike
120,301FollowersFollow
31,181SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these


Share This Post and Support: