India

Antrix-Devas deal: CBI gets nod to prosecute ex-ISRO bosses

02 May 2017 | By Gaurav Jeyaraman

The CBI has got the go ahead to prosecute former ISRO and Antrix officials over their alleged involvement in the Antrix-Devas scandal.

CBI officials will charge them over conspiracy and money laundering charges. They will be prosecuted for abusing their official position in the Antrix-Devas deal.

The case has been posted for further hearing by a special court on 1 June.

In context: ISRO's Antrix-Devas scandal

AboutThe Antrix-Devas deal

In January 2005, Antrix Corporation (ISRO's commercial arm) had signed an agreement with Devas Multimedia (a company formed by former ISRO scientists and US venture capitalists) for leasing S-band transponder on 2 ISRO satellites GSAT 6 and GSAT 6A.

The S-band spectrum lies between the 2000-4000MHz frequency and is not only scarce but has enormous commercial value in high-speed terrestrial mobile communication.

2011Antrix-Devas Deal cost crores in losses: CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) pointed out that the S-band was allocated without competitive bidding, the Cabinet and Space Commission were not properly informed, public resources were diverted to build consumer specific satellites etc.

The CAG estimated a loss of several hundreds of crores in the Antrix-Devas deal

The CBI subsequently registered a case against officials from Antrix and Devas.

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CBI, EDCBI registers case against Antrix, Devas

In 2014, NDA-government asked the CBI to take up the Antrix-Devas case.

In Mar'15, CBI filed a corruption case against officials of Antrix and Devas; the deal resulted in a Rs. 578 crore loss to the Government.

The Enforcement Directorate also registered a case against Devas to investigate the flow of funds under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act.

02 May 2017Antrix-Devas deal: CBI gets nod to prosecute ex-ISRO bosses

Who all are CBI looking to prosecute?

The CBI is looking to prosecute former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair, former ISRO director A Bhaskar Narayana Rao, former Antrix executive director K R Sridhara Murthi, former Devas CEO Ramachandra Vishwanathan and former Devas director M G Chandrasekhar.