Devas inquiry not conducted, it's a lie: Nair
Bangalore: The ISRO row showed no signs of
abating as former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair on Tuesday hit back at
his successor K Radhakrishnan dubbing as "another lie" the
latter's claim that an inquiry was conducted into charges and
lapses relating to the Antrix-Devas deal.
Radhakrishnan, Secretary in the Department of Space (DoS),
had said yesterday that a probe was held, noting the
"detailed" letter of the Pratyush Sinha-chaired High Level
Team (to Nair and seven other officials) listing out the
"charges, lapses and irregularities".
"It's another lie", Nair told PTI, underlining "that's a
letter only", in the continuing intense war of words triggered
by the action against him and three other scientists barring
them from occupying any government position and the release of
the two key reports which led to the action.
Nair said the letter narrates the entire history of Devas
as seen by the DoS and at the end of it asks them to explain
their involvement on the issues from the signing of the
contract till it annulment, and provide clarifications.
"Normally in any inquiry they have to formulate a
charge-sheet or omissions and commissions, and they have to
ask for explanations. That's not done," he said, adding any
inquiry panel finding people culpable has to send notice and
takes steps after considering the reply.
"All these steps are violated," Nair said. "...the entire
process adopted right from annulment of Devas agreement until
now, they are based on half-truths and this amounts to
misleading the government.
"So you tell a lie and hundreds of lie will have to be
told to cover it up," he said, indirectly referring to
Radhakrishnan whom he has repeatedly accused of being behind
the government action.
On indications from the government that the order to ban
the four scientists would not be revoked, Nair said: "Let them
say so. I am not asking for any favour from anybody".
On Minister of State in PMO, V Narayanasamy's reported
remarks that the Antrix-Devas deal was annulled for reasons of
national security and not purported loss of revenue in sale of
spectrum, Nair said: "Where is (then) the need for any
witch-hunting (against the four). He (Narayanasamy) himself is
Asked why he thought the deal was scrapped, Nair said he
can only do some guess-work. On one side, there was a CAG
report which talked about huge notional loss and on the other
hand, there was issue of sale of Devas shares in 2010.
"Both these events coincided. Looking at that event, it's
quite possible that it's a panic reaction from the DoS which
has caused all this. That's my guess... putting two and two
together," he said.
He said there are "contradictions" with respect to the
Chaturvedi-Narasimha Committee report, and the Sinha panel
conclusions, which he termed as "atrocious". He said nobody
knows how the Sinha panel arrived at those conclusions.
"In the absence of that, an independent and impartial
public inquiry by a duly constituted committee with technical
experts is absolutely essential. That's the only way to bring
out the truth," he said.
Noting that the communication barring them from government
jobs and Sinha panel findings have not been provided to them
by the DoS, Nair regretted that "every thing we have to hear
from the media".
"Now, it has become a public debate over the media on the
issues rather than the individuals trying to defend
themselves," he said.
"This issue is floating in the air. It has become a big
'tamasha' over the air. That's not the way to look at serious
issue like this. And I am sure, somebody in the government is
responsible for this and they will understand how to handle
such matters. Whatever has come in the public domain... it's a
series of half-truths.
"I have decided unless I receive something formally from
the government, I will not be responding," Nair added.