Amidst ongoing controversy around the Rafale deal, French national newspaper Le Monde has reported that the French authorities waived off taxes worth USD 162 million or 143.7 million euros in favour of Anil Ambaniâ€™s France-based telecom company - Reliance Atlantic Flag France. The tax debt of the Indian businessman was cleared just a few months after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government sealed the Rafale deal with France in 2015.
The report claimed that the tax dispute was settled by October 2015. Interestingly, a few months earlier, PM Modi was on official visit to France and had announced that India would acquire 36 fully built Rafale fighter jets from the French company Dassault.
Six months after Modi's Rafale announcement, the French tax authorities accepted 7.3 million euros from Reliance as a settlement, instead of the much bigger sum of 151 million euros.â€” julien bouissou (@jubouissou) April 13, 2019
The media report claimed that authorities investigated Anil Ambani's Reliance Atlantic Flag France and found liable to pay 60 million euros for the period 2007 to 2010.
Ambaniâ€™s offered to pay 7.6 million euros as taxes debt, but it was not accepted by the French authorities. Another round of investigation was conducted for the period 2010 to 2012 after which the authorities asked for an additional 91 million euros in taxes.
Reliance offered to pay 7.6 million euros as a settlement. The French tax authorities refused. They conducted another investigation for the period 2010 to 2012 and asked for an additional 91 million euros in taxes.â€” julien bouissou (@jubouissou) April 13, 2019
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear review petitions on the Rafale deal on the basis of secret documents leaked to the media.
The top court also dismissed the government's preliminary objection to treat the sensitive documents as evidence by claiming privilege over them.
The Centre had submitted that the three privilege documents which were unauthorisedly removed from the Defence Ministry were used by the petitioners to support their review petitions.