ISRO deal: Madhavan Nair's plea dismissed

Kochi, March 8: The Central Administrative Tribunal today dismissed former ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair's plea, seeking quashing of the Centre's decision to debar him from holding government posts for his alleged role in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal, on the ground of maintainability.

Rejecting his application,a CAT division bench comprising Judicial member Justice T R Raman and Administrative member G George Joseph, held that the dispute raised would not come under the provisions of the Administrative Tribunal Act.

Nair had moved the CAT here in March 2012, challenging government's decision to bar him and three other scientists from holding government posts for their alleged role in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal and seeking its quashing.

He was also aggrieved by the Jan 13 2012 order terminating his appointment as Dr Vikram Sarabhai Distinguished Professor. He had sought a direction to the government for reinstatement till expiry of his four-year term. In the alternative, he sought adequate compensation.

Nair had also sought quashing of Chapter 6 of the Sept 2, 2011 report of the high-level government constituted team to examine the facts and circumstances of the deal.

The Tribunal today held he was not a civil servant and this was not a re-employment after retirement in a civil post in connection with affairs of the union. There is no protection of Art 311 of the Constitution it held.

On the issue of distinguished Professor in VSSC, CAT held he was not under control or supervision of a superior. There was no annual performance appraisal report and he could not be transferred or suspended.Conduct rules would not apply to him. There was no employee-employer relationship between the applicant and respondents, it said.

The professorship in research fellowships is not a civil post or civil service under the Union, it said. Nair stated the three G.Os had 'damaged' his reputation as an individual and status as a scientist,especially when he had associated with Department of Space from inception, he said, adding, they had been issued with 'substantial amount of malice'.

The orders were against the principles of fair play and natural justice and are ab initio void and incompetent for want of jurisdiction and authority, he had submitted.

The Centre had submitted there are 'lapses' and 'irregularities' on Nair's part in entering into the agreement between ANTRIX and Devas Multimedia Private ltd and government took action against the personnel responsible on the basis of findings in reports of two high level committees.


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