ISRO report indicts Nair, three other scientists
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Last Updated: Sunday, February 05, 2012, 13:44
Bangalore: A committee set up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) indicted former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair and three other senior scientists who were barred from holding any government posts.

The report prepared by a committee headed by Pratyush Sinha, former Chief Vigilance Commissioner, said Antrix-Devas deal lacked transparency and recommended that action needs to be taken against Nair, A Bhaskaranarayana, K R Sridhara Murthi and K N Shankara all of whom have retired.

The Antrix is the commercial arm of ISRO and Devas is a private firm.

The five-member high level team, which was set up to examine the deal and identify the acts of omission and commission by government officials, said in its report made public tonight that "...there have not only been serious administrative and procedural lapses but also suggestion of collusive behaviour on the part of certain individuals and accordingly, responsibilities have to be fixed for taking action".

The Pratyush Sinha committee, set up on May 31 last year to examine the deal and identify the acts of omission and commission by government officials, said choosing Devas for the deal "seems to be lacking in transparency and due diligence".

It said "the approval process (for the deal) was riddled with incomplete and inaccurate information given to the union cabinet and the Space Commission".

While the Antrix-Devas agreement was signed on January, 28, 2005, "this fact was not disclosed to the Space Commission or in the Cabinet note dated November 27, 2005, in which approval was sought for the launch of GSAT 6, one of the satellites to be build under the agreement".

The report said the terms of Antrix-Devas contract "were heavily loaded in favour of Devas".

It pointed out that terms of the agreement entail that while in the case of the failure of the satellite, the risk was entirely that of Department of Space, the success of of the satellite would commit the latter to substantial expenditure".

Secondly, it said "it is surprising that for the purpose of arbitration Devas has been considered an international customer even though its registered address in the contract is shown as in Bangalore".

The report also noted that no clearance was obtained from the legal cells of the Department of Space and the Finance Ministry for Antrix-Devas deal, as is mandatory for any international agreement by any department of Indian government.

The report also said GSAT capacity was earmarked for Devas without consulting INSAT Corporation Committee (ICC), which recommends use of satellite capacities by non-government users authorized to provide telecom services, which is a "clear violation of the government policy".


First Published: Sunday, February 05, 2012, 00:20

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