Antrix-Devas deal: Court to take cognisance of charge sheet


A special court will next month take cognisance of a charge sheet filed against former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair and others in the Antrix-Devas deal case.

Photo: The Indian Express

Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal fixed September 1 for the next proceeding in the case after the CBI told the court that the sanction to prosecute a former additional secretary in the Department of Space (DoS), Veena S Rao, has been obtained from the appropriate authorities.

The agency had on May 1 informed the court that the sanction to prosecute Nair and others — A Bhaskar Narayana Rao, the then Director in ISRO, and K R Sridhar Murthy, the then Executive Director of Antrix — had been received.

The CBI had filed an FIR on March 16, 2015 against Nair and others accusing them of facilitating “wrongful” gain of Rs 578 crore to private multi-media company Devas by Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO.

The agency had on August 11 last year filed a charge sheet against the accused, alleging they had caused a loss of Rs 578 crore to the exchequer by abusing their official position to favour a private company.

The case relates to leasing of S-Band, a restricted wavelength of the INSAT satellites to deliver video, multimedia and information services to mobile receivers in vehicles and mobile phones to Devas Multimedia by Antrix.

It was alleged in the FIR that the lease was given in violation of the rules, causing an undue gain of Rs 578 crore to Devas Multimedia and corresponding loss to the exchequer.

The charge sheet had alleged that the accused persons had committed various offences including criminal conspiracy, cheating and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Besides Nair, Narayan Rao, Veena S Rao and Murthy, others named in the charge sheet as accused included Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd, former Managing Director of Forge Advisors and CEO of Devas Ramachandra Vishwanathan and the then Director of Devas M G Chandrasekhar.

Two directors of Devas Multimedia D Venugopal and M Umesh were also named in the charge sheet as accused.

All the accused have denied the charges made by the CBI against them.


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