Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan and former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Shourie met Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma on Thursday and sought an investigation into the Rafale jet deal, PTI reported. Earlier in the day, Bhushan tweeted he would file a complaint with the agency under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore. The Congress has accused the Narendra Modi government of signing an overpriced deal. It has also alleged that the government helped a defence firm owned by Anil Ambani, which has no experience in the sector, land a mega contract under the deal.
“Arun Shourie and I are going to deliver a devastating complaint on behalf of us and [former BJP leader] Yashwant Sinha under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the Rafale scam to the CBI director at 4 pm today,” Shourie said earlier in the day.
On August 8, Bhushan, Sinha and Shourie released a joint statement alleging that the Rafale deal “imperils national security”. The three said the contradictory statements of union ministers, the handing of the offset contract to Reliance Defence and the “gross misuse of friendly media to purvey falsehood” had convinced them that “there is a major scandal here, gross misuse of office, and monumental criminal misconduct”.
On September 23, Bhushan demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the agreement. He dubbed the deal “the largest defence scam in India”.