Policy

Devas tells PM it is open to review of Antrix agreement

Thomas K Thomas Madhumathi D S New Delhi/ Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 12, 2011

devasmultimedia   -  Business Line



In an effort to salvage a deal that has run into rough weather, Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd has written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, saying that it is willing for a review of the lease agreement with Antrix Corporation. The Bangalore-based start up has also sought a meeting with the Prime Minister to clarify its position in the matter.

The letter comes ahead of the crucial meeting of the Space Commission on Saturday that is expected to take a decision on cancelling the agreement between Devas and Antrix.

“Representatives of the Devas Board and investors request an urgent meeting with you to discuss the Devas-ISRO G-SAT-6 and 6A project and provide any clarifications. We are ready for any review that you may wish to have on the company and on the agreement,” the letter from Devas said.

Indicating that the Government knew all along about the nature of the agreement, the company said that the Space Commission, which includes the Cabinet Secretary as also the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, was briefed about the “importance of the Devas-Antrix agreement.” Devas had earlier written twice to the then Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, in September and October 2010.

Names top US diplomats as advisers

The letter reveals that a number of international diplomats, including the US Secretary of State, Ms Madeline Albright, had batted for Devas at different points in time during discussions with the Government.

“The concerns of our US investors were also highlighted to Government of India officials by US State Department delegations and in communications from some of Devas' advisors including former US Secretary of State Ms Madeline Albright, former US National Security Advisor Mr Sandy Berger and the Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce Mr Thomas Donohue Sr,” it stated.

The company added that Mr Edward Kozel, Member of the Management Board of Deutsche Telekom, had earlier expressed concern to Mr Chavan over the delay in implementing the project.

The five-page note follows an investigative report on Monday by Business Line and The Hindu exposing the implication of the deal between Antrix and Devas signed in 2005. The Department of Space on Tuesday said that it was looking at the best option to cancel the deal without causing any loss to the Government. However, indicating its future of course of action in the event the agreement gets cancelled, Devas has repeatedly said in the letter that the agreement was “legally valid and binding”.

“Upholding the sanctity of contract that was entered into with due process and approvals is essential to maintaining the confidence of global investors which India has successfully courted,” the Devas letter said.

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Published on February 12, 2011
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