ISRO-Devas deal: Retired IAS officer named in chargesheet questions CBI probe

CBI is probing the 2005 deal between ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation and Bengaluru start-up Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd.

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru | Published: August 16, 2016 2:43 am
g-madhavan-nair-759 CBI has named former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair, former Antrix executive director K R Sreedharamurthi, former ISRO secretary A Bhaskarnarayana and four officials of Devas Multimedia in its chargesheet, alleging losses of around Rs 578 crore to the exchequer.

A retired IAS officer, who was named last week in a CBI chargesheet in the ISRO-Devas deal, has questioned the CBI probe against her and put out details of her letters to the agency seeking perusal of original documents in the case.

CBI is probing the 2005 deal between ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation and Bengaluru start-up Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd.

Veena Rao, who served as additional secretary in the Department of Space from December 2004 to December 2005, has said in a Facebook post that she was not present at the December 24, 2004, Antrix board meeting where the deal was approved.

She has also stated that a space department note to the space commission approving construction of the satellite GSAT-6 by ISRO, that came before her in 2005, did not specifically mention that the satellite was a part of the Antrix-Devas deal.

Besides Rao, CBI has named former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair, former Antrix executive director K R Sreedharamurthi, former ISRO secretary A Bhaskarnarayana and four officials of Devas Multimedia in its chargesheet, alleging losses of around Rs 578 crore to the exchequer.

The officials have been accused of giving an ineligible company the rights for delivery of multimedia services to mobile receivers using space band spectrum that was to be made available through the GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A satellites built by ISRO. They have been charged under Sections 120 B and 420 of IPC for conspiracy and cheating, and under sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.

“I took charge as additional secretary, Department of Space, on December 22, 2004, and handed over charge in December 2005. The Antrix-Devas contract was approved at the Antrix board meeting held on December 24, 2004. I was not present at the board meeting, as I had not yet been appointed to the Antrix board…It is difficult to imagine how I could have entered into a conspiracy within two days after my taking charge,”…Rao said in her Facebook post dated August 12. She claimed that the CBI picked on her for being a person “without any political or ideological cover’’.

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  1. A
    AK
    Aug 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm
    -Public 100 % convinced that charges framed by CBI against Mr.G.Madhavan Nair is 100 % true. So far Mr.Nair was running behind BJP local and national leaders and communal leaders for getting Rajayasabha MP post for escaping from 2000 lakhs crores corruption deal. We wonder why media silent on these issue till date... lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;BJP Gov may please take action against all ISRO people who are in service or out of service and involved in this ANTRIX-DEWAS criminal conspiracy.....VERY DANGEROUS DEAL....Mr.Nair will go to any extend for escaping it...Hope MODIji will do the needful for grilling Mr.Nair and further eradicate ISRO corruption.
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      AK
      Aug 16, 2016 at 6:19 pm
      Ex-ISRO Chief Mr.G.Madhavan Nair is a very cunning guy. He put innocent people on the issue for getting sympathy and escaping his criminal charges through that sympathy channel by saying that CBI is NOT fair. BJP Gov must immediately take action for grilling him and his chela. Please probe abourt Mr.Nadadur (IAS), Joint Secretary, ISRO/DoS and close ociate of Mr.Nair. Why he took VRS? Veena obviously cannot involve in these types of collusive activities for selling our country. CBI may please accelerate the trial.
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        Veena S
        Aug 18, 2016 at 5:46 pm
        Dear Mr AK, Thank you so much for your support. Please spread it around all you friends. When I first came to DoS, I thought it would be so wonderful to work in an organization of enlightened scientists. Little did I realize I had got into a fascist den of power drunk scientists who hated any kind of questions, and that from a woman AS whom they were seeing for the first time. Wish I had never gone there.... Veena S Rao
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