Devas asserts agreement with ISRO legally binding

February 10th, 2011 - 4:35 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO Bangalore, Feb 10 (IANS) Devas Multimedia, a private company in the eye of a storm over space spectrum allocation, Thursday said its agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for S-band spectrum — high value and scarce radio waves — was “legally binding”.Devas Multimedia has a legally binding agreement dated Jan 28, 2005 with the Antrix Corporation, the wholly owned commercial arm of the government of India’s Department of Space-run ISRO, the company’s president and chief executive officer Ramachandran Viswanathan said in a statement here.

His assertion comes in the midst of talk that the central government was planning to annul Antix’s agreement with Devas.

“Devas proceeded with the project after required consents and approvals were obtained within GOI (government of India), culminating with Space Commission and union cabinet, and the same were confirmed to us by Antrix in February 2006,” Viswanathan said.

“Devas has fulfilled all of its obligations in respect of the agreement over the past six years and now awaits the delivery of the contracted space segment capacity, which is more than two years delayed.

“Devas has secured appropriate approvals from GOI related to conducting its business. All foreign direct investment into Devas has also been with due FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) approvals and in full compliance with government regulations,” he said.

Viswanathan said Devas, its investors - Deutsche Telekom, Columbia Capital, Telcom Ventures - and its partners “have invested significant time, capital and resources in developing an innovative, novel, integrated satellite system to serve the needs of the Indian consumers and government agencies, including for strategic applications.

“Devas has developed technologies that are essential for the delivery of advanced services, including societal, strategic and commercial applications, through ISRO’s GSAT 6 and 6A satellites,” he said.

Devas promoters and management “have significant experience in the satellite industry both in India and in overseas markets.”

Viswanathan said the current chairman of Devas (M.G. Chandrasekhar) and chief technology officer (D. Venugopal) “were previously with ISRO in senior positions, and their affiliation to Devas came much after leaving from ISRO in December 1997 and April 1998, respectively, and is in full compliance with the Government of India’s rules.”

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has indicated that the alleged deal between Antrix and Devas has caused the nation an estimated loss of Rs.2 lakh crore.

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