Devas Multimedia to continue to pursue the seizure of Air India's assets

Ayushi Kar | | Updated on: Nov 03, 2021
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A senior advisor for Devas shareholders said he hoped the pursuit of Air India’s assets would compel the government to resume talks with the company

Even as Cairn Energy moves to end its retrospective taxation dispute with India, promoters of Devas Multimedia will continue to pursue the seizure of Air India's assets.

Jay Newman, senior advisor for Devas shareholders told BusinessLine , “We are still going to look at the seizure of those (Air India’s) assets. The privatisation is a complication, but it is by no means a defeat” he said.

Newman hopes that this pursuit of Air India’s assets is a wrench in the Tata deal to compel the Indian government to get back to the discussion table to come to an agreement with Devas and its shareholders.

In June, shareholders and investors of Devas Multimedia had filed a petition in a US court to attach the assets of Air India to enforce the $1.5-billion arbitration awards against India.

The appeal was to declare that Air India is legally indistinct from the Indian government, find the flag-carrier jointly and severally liable for any judgment against India, and allow execution, attachment, and other orders, requiring the airline to satisfy the liability owed to Devas.

Devas has since doggedly pursued seizure of Air India and has plans to pursue seizure of PSU assets across the world.


Regarding the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s decision to uphold the National Company Law Tribunal’s decision to wind up Devas Multimedia, Newman alleged that false allegations have been presented before the NCLAT

NCLAT, in its order, said: “This Tribunal finds it rather strange that such a vast and vital agreement (between Devas and Antrix) dated 28.01.2005 was allowed to be signed by an Article Clerk who had no background in science and technology, especially with the functioning of Devas Services and was given remuneration for signing the agreement.


“ the opinion of this Tribunal, the key responsible personnel of Devas remained backstage until the signing of the agreement dated 28.01.2005.”

Commenting on these allegations of fraud against Devas, Newman said, “These allegations are disproven by the evidence presented in all three arbitration proceedings.


“The Central Government itself announced that the termination of the contract arose from its desire to abrogate the contract in order to retain the spectrum it had previously agreed to lease to Devas. How could it have also been suppressed or concealed? They should get their many false stories straight.”



Published on November 03, 2021

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