CPI-M seeks independent probe into S-band deal

February 11th, 2011 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday demanded “an independent time-bound high-level enquiry” into the S-band spectrum deal involving India’s space agency ISRO and a private company.The party accused the government of trying to underplay the extent of wrongdoing in the deal exposed by the media between Devas Multimedia and a company tied to the Indian Space Research Organisation.

A CPI-M statement asked how the cabinet cleared the launch of the first satellite in December 2005 “meant solely for the private company?”

“Why the agreement was not cancelled when the contract was found to be inappropriate and the Space Commission wanted it annulled in July 2010? Why is it that the government did not act even after the Additional Solicitor General recommended that the termination of the agreement be a government decision?”

It said the decision by the prime minister to set up a two-member panel to review the agreement was “highly questionable”.

“What is the necessity for a review when already the contract has been found to be unjustified and needs to be annulled?”

According to media reports, Devas Multimedia was to get access to high quality spectrum of 70 MHz through the launch of two custom-made satellites. Devas has denied any wrongdoing.

Saying the Comptroller and Auditor General should be allowed to examine the contract, it said the spectrum deal should be probed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.

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