S-band deal probed by Central agency, report awaited: Nair

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 13 (PTI) Amid outcry over theS-Band spectrum deal between ISRO''s commercial arm AntrixCorporation and a private company, the space agency''s formerChairman G Madhavan Nair today said a high-powered committeeset up by the Centre was probing the issue.

"This matter is being inquired into by a high-poweredcommittee. So I cannot make any remarks on that. But I amsure the department has been functioning as per the set rulesand regulations of the time," Nair, who headed ISRO in 2005,said.

"Let the report of the high powered committee come.

After that I shall comment," he told reporters on thesidelines of the ''Kerala Development Congress'' a four-dayseminar organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of DevelopmentStudies which began here yesterday.

Asked about reports that all members of the AntrixCorporation were not present at the Board meeting which tookthe crucial decision, Nair said "I do not have any records onthat. So, I cannot comment".

Antrix Corporation is in the eye of a storm over itscontroversial twin-satellite 2005 deal with private firm DevasMultimedia.

On February 8, Nair had said ISRO had nothing to dowith spectrum allocation. "Spectrum allocation is not ourbusiness. We build and operate satellites".

Antrix had signed the contract in January 2005 and hadgot sanction of the Space Commission and the Union Cabinet forthe two satellites without informing them that bulk capacitywill be leased to Devas Multimedia.

In December 2009, ISRO ordered a review of the dealand subsequently Space Commission recommended its annulment onJuly 2, 2010. The Commission had also suggested restructuringAntrix and a report on the matter had been submitted to ISROsubsequently.

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