Ex- ISRO chief Madhavan Nair files plea under RTI

Former ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair on Monday filed an appeal under RTI seeking reasons for blacklisting him from government jobs.

Bangalore: Former ISRO Chairman G Madhavan
Nair on Monday filed an appeal under RTI seeking reasons for
blacklisting him from government jobs even as he reposed faith
in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to revoke his ban order.

"I filed the appeal this evening (before the Central
Information Commission)," he told PTI here.

The Department of Space last week declined to reveal to
him the specific recommendations and reasons for banning him
from government jobs for his role in the controversial
Antrix-Devas deal and factors taken into consideration.

The DoS cited Section 8 (1) (h) of the RTI, for not
providing this require information, saying further enquiry is
likely and divulging those details would impede investigation.

Asked about the Prime Minister not replying to his letter
written soon after the ban order, Nair said his guess was that
Singh would probably have asked the DoS to seek the opinion of
the Law Ministry in the matter.

Noting that the Law Ministry`s advice was known last week,
he said, "Logically, it (the advice) may be presented to him
and he (the Prime Minister) might take a decision on the
matter. That`s what I expect".

The Law Ministry has told the DoS to allow the four ISRO
scientists "post decisional opportunity" to place their stand
on its move debarring them from occupying any government
position in future in the aftermath of the Antrix-Devas deal.

In an opinion to the department, the ministry has also
said that no further probe into the deal is required and that
there was no need for a charge-sheet at this stage.

Nair said the entire scientific and legal community has
expressed the view that the action against them was "illegal".

"Naturally subsequent steps should be to annul the (ban)
order which (however) is not happening and I don`t know why
it`s taking so much time.

"I have to fight it out. It`s not only for my honour but
it`s the honour of entire scientific community. I have to
fight it out till the last bit," he said.

Nair said "some strong pressure from some quarters" was
responsible for annulment of the Antrix-Devas deal.

After December 2009, there was no transparent reviews and
no internal discussions vis-a-vis the deal and "every thing
was kept under the carpet and many of the information was kept

"Still they were taking drastic measures to cancel the
contract which was about to mature. So, this can only happen
if there is some strong pressure from some quarters".

He said DoS` argument that the deal was cancelled because
of procedural violations and also that S-band resources were
needed for defence applications was "outright bluff".

"A series of bluffs and finally a decision is taken to
cancel the contract," Nair said. "There are indications of
some foul play from some quarters".

By cancelling the contract, India lost a golden
opportunity, he said.

"Just like DTH revolution that we brought in, we would
have brought in hand-held (mobile) revolutions using
satellites (had the deal been implemented). That`s a big loss
to the country, technically."


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