• Associate Sponsor

Successor K Radhakrishan ‘misled govt’ on Devas Multimedia deal: Ex-ISRO chief Nair

Those who took arbitrary decisions should be held responsible for losses space agency would incur: Nair

Written by Amitabh Sinha | New Delhi | Published: October 7, 2015 1:29 am
devas multimedia, isro, devas, devas multimedia case, k radhakrishma, g madhvan nair, isro chief, chief of isro, isro devas multimedia, devas multimedia isro, india news G Madhavan Nair

Blaming his successor K Radhakrishan for misleading the government on the agreement with Devas Multimedia, former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair Tuesday said the space agency did not follow legal procedures while cancelling the agreement in 2011 — a decision that has now resulted in an international court of arbitration imposing huge fines on ISRO.

Nair, who was barred by the government in 2012 from taking up any government position because of his role in stitching together the Devas agreement, said someone should be held responsible for the financial losses to ISRO because of the fine.

Share This Article
Share
Related Article

“It is very unfortunate that such a huge fine has been imposed on ISRO. But ISRO had not been handling this issue properly right from the start. The chairman of ISRO (Radhakrishnan) misled the government. The action taken against Devas (cancellation of the agreement) was illegal and this has been held as such by the arbitration panel as well,” Nair said.

Radhakrishnan, who retired at the end of last year, could not be reached for a comment.
Devas Multimedia, a Bangalore-based company, had entered into an agreement with Antrix Corporation, the marketing arm of ISRO, in January 2005 for lease of transponder space on two satellites that were yet to be launched then. Devas intended to use S-band radio frequency signals to launch multimedia services for mobile devices. Antrix would have earned $300 million over a period of 12 years.

But the agreement was scrapped in early 2011, with ISRO saying that the S-band would be reserved for strategic uses. A year later, following a report by a two-member panel, the government barred Nair, the ISRO chairman when the agreement was finalised, and three other scientists, including the then head of Antrix Corporation, from being appointed to any other post.

Devas, in the meantime, took legal recourse and the matter reached an international court of arbitration under the rules of International Chambers of Commerce. Last week, the arbitration panel ruled in favour of Devas and asked Antrix Corporation to pay a total of $672 million (about Rs 4,400 crore) in damages to Devas. The amount is nearly two-thirds of ISRO’s annual budget in 2015-16.

Nair said ISRO would have to suffer huge financial losses because of the wrong and arbitrary decisions of Radhakrishnan. “Those who took those arbitrary decisions then should be held responsible for the losses that ISRO would incur,” he said.

Nair said ISRO had adopted a very opaque and questionable process in cancelling the agreement. “To date, I have not officially received the order that said I have been blacklisted. I also filed RTI applications to know the rules under which action had been taken against me. But no satisfactory answer was given. Crucial documents, like some chapters of report of the Pratyush Sinha committee (which probed the Devas deal)… had to be presented before the arbitration panel. And it is clear that these had very weak arguments,” Nair said. “It seemed that certain decisions had already been made and processes were initiated later to justify those decisions.” he added.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. Arun Murthy
    Oct 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm
    ISRO might be guilty of cancelling the contract with Devas. But, the ISRO-Devas deal was a scandal. The Govt was right in annulling it. Refer article by Jethmalani in Sunday Guardian.
    (0)(0)
    Reply
    1. S
      Samajwadi
      Oct 7, 2015 at 10:04 pm
      CPM may Initiate action against Mr.G.Madhavan Nair, blacklisted Ex-ISRO Chief who created a situation for getting heavy penalty to taxpayers money on the order of Rs.4400 crore due to S-band scam. Had this deal NOT been cancelled our country should have been faced the biggest SCAM in the history. Invoke the law of our land and Grill Mr.Nair before SNDP Kerala Yatra. If CPM is honest and corruption free go ahead with grilling Mr.G.Madhavan Nair and crush his unethical alliance with SNDP and BJP. We are sure BJP won't get a single seat if they ociate with the most corrupted executive like Mr.G.Madhavan Nair...
      (0)(0)
      Reply
      1. S
        Samajwadi
        Oct 7, 2015 at 2:49 pm
        Mr.G.Madhavan Nair is 100% fraud. It is high time for the BJP Gov to invoke the law of our land for grilling him and unmasking his criminal activities. Mr.Nair misled the people of country and abused the taxpayers money. Detailed report later.
        (0)(0)
        Reply
        1. S
          Samajwadi
          Oct 7, 2015 at 9:49 pm
          UPA gov took a light stand against Mr.G.Madhavan Nair by only blacklisting him instead of Grilling him. Mr.Nair's offense is very high. why media is taking the issue lightly. Rs.4400 crore is low amount for our country! Immediate action from BJP is solicited if not Modiji's make India project will affect BJP will loose their credibility. BJP leaders or ministers/MPs/MLAs and others should not share any dais with the blacklisted Mr.G.M.Nair. If so, BJP will loose their credibility....
          (0)(0)
          Reply
          1. R
            Rajpandian
            Oct 10, 2015 at 2:08 am
            Samajwadi needs to understand what happened. ISRO sold transponders to Devas and it is the DOT that allocates spectrum. Selling transponders is nothing new and has been sold in the past to Tata Sky and others. This was never revealed and Radhakrishnan misled the Govt into believing that there was a scandal. Did you know that Radhakrishnan was part of the technical committee that recommended the Devas contract for approval to Madhavan Nair. Initial discussions with Devas was done by Kasturirangan and it concluded during Madhavan Nair's time. The cancellation and subsequent mishandling of the arbitration makes one wonder if there was a payoff for cancelling the contract. Look at the size of the award. Devas will make a neat pile and would not mind paying the corrupt congress to get the contract cancelled. All the reports for cancellation was done surrepiously and the case was not contested earnestly...what does this show!! Go ahead and grill Madhavan Nair, nothing stops anyone from doing that but the truth will come out. CBI had investigated and had exonerated Madhavan Nair from any wrong doing. It is the tax payer's money and we need to know the w truth and have the guilty punished.
            (0)(0)
            Reply
            1. Load More Comments