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ISRO report indicts Nair, three other scientists

A committee set up by ISRO indicted former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair and three other senior scientists.



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".

PTI

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