#ScorpeneLeak: Important Questions
The French company DCNS was contacted by The Australian newspaper on Monday with questions regarding the #ScorpeneLeak, to which they conducted a full workshop analysing the issue and later had a dialogue with the Australian politicians and Navy Chiefs as well on Tuesday. On the other hand Indian Defence Ministry woke up on Wednesday with a telephone call after the story was published. When the entire issue had a more sensitive bearing on India's submarine project than Australians why was India not informed directly by DCNS? Why did the Indian Defence Ministry not reprimand or asked for an explanation from DCNS regarding it? When the Australian had provided the entire chain of events and how exactly the data was leaked and reached Australia, on what basis did the Indian Def Min said it was a case of hacking? Moreover even without analysing the 22400 odd documents hoe could the Indian Navy say it leaked documents doesn't pose a threat to India's Project 75? And the reason given was that the key information was blacked out by the documents published online by The Australian newspaper! Is that a kind of statement you expect from a Naval officer? Because of such childish statements now the entire country has become a laughing stock for the world. Replying to such statements The Australian reporter Cameron Stewart who broke the story said, "When I say we will release a leaked document on Scorpene weapons systems, they will of course be redacted by us of sensitive information." and added that "India's defence minister is wrong to say leaked Scorpene docs do not include weapons info. will release (self-censored) weapons doc Monday." Why is the Indian Government and Navy trying to downplay this serious National Security issue? India can invoke a nondisclosure clause signed as part of the Scorpene submarine contract in 2005 for action against French manufacturer DCNS but the pact is not clear on penal action in case of data theft or espionage. Technically, the clause could be invoked and guarantees to the tune of Rs 1,800 crore frozen but such an action could face a strong legal challenge. This is really funny as Rs 1100 crore was already paid as a bribe to the Indian political establishment by the French company to get the Scorpene deal in the first place.
Here are some of the obvious questions that the Government should be asking:
1. Who was the French Naval officer who stole the data and who was his colleague accompanying him?
2. Were they working alone or with other persons/organisation?
3. Which South Asian countries he went to set up the commercial venture?
4. What was the nature of this commercial venture?
5. Which company did he contacted for the purpose?
6. Who was the western businessman who was contacted?