Moily meets PC on annulment of Antrix-Devas deal

 
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New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) A day after the governmentdecided to scrap the Antrix-Devas S-Band spectrum allocationdeal, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily today met Home Minister PChidambaram discussing legal ramifications of the move againstthe backdrop of the private company threatening to sue thegovernment.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily is understood to have metHome Minister P Chidambaram this evening to discuss thepossible legal ramifications of the annulment.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium was also presentin the meeting, sources said.

The three are learnt to have discussed the possibilityof Devas approaching an international court of arbitrationabroad and the ways to deal with the possible legal battle.

Devas Multimedia had threatened to move court if thegovernment took any unilateral decision to terminate the deal.

"Even if they go to court, they are not likely tosucceed," Moily had said yesterday when asked whether thegovernment was ready to face the legal challenges put up byDevas.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), at a meetingchaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday, haddecided to annul the contract Antrix -- the commercial arm ofISRO -- had entered into with private company Devas Multimediaunder which it was to lease out 90 per cent transponders ontwo of ISRO''s satellites GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A.

Under the agreement signed in January 2005, Devas was tolease transponder capacity from the two satellites at a costof USD 300 million (approximately Rs 1350 crore) spread over12 years.

Some estimates said the deal was heavily undervalued. PTINAB

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