New Delhi, Dec 20 A court here on Tuesday fixed February 1 as the next date to consider the chargesheet filed in the Devas-Antrix deal case after the CBI sought adjournment because government sanction to try accused officials was still awaited. Central Bureau of Investigation Special Judge Vinod Kumar allowed the probe agency's plea.
The CBI filed a chargesheet on August 11 against former ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair, former Additional Secretary in the Department of Space Veena S. Rao, and then ISRO Director A. Bhaskar Narayana Rao and others for causing a loss of Rs 578 crore to the exchequer in the Devas-Antrix deal.
The then Antrix Executive Director K.R. Sridhara Murthi, former Managing Director of US-based Forge Advisors and CEO of Devas Ramachandra Vishwanathan and the then Director of Devas M.G. Chandrasekhar and three former directors of Bangalore-based Devas Multi-media were also chargesheeted.
The deal was inked between private multimedia company Devas and Antrix, which is the commercial arm of the Indian space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The CBI accused them of hatching a criminal conspiracy with an intent to cause undue gains to themselves or others by abusing their official positions and causing loss to Antrix Corporation and ISRO.
A case was registered against the accused on March 16, 2015. The Antrix-Devas deal saw an early exit of Nair as ISRO Chairman since he was the head of Antrix governing council when the deal was finalised in January 2005.