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Antrix-Devas: CBI questions former ISRO chief

Nair was questioned for over five hours at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi and asked about the details of the contract signed between Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia Private Limited on 28 January
Madhavan Nair

The CBI today questioned former ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair in connection with an alleged Rs 578-crore “wrongful” gain to a private multi-media company Devas by Antrix, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation.

Nair was questioned for over five hours at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi and asked about the details of the contract signed between Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia Private Limited on 28 January, 2005 during his tenure as chairman of ISRO and Secretary, Department of Space, CBI sources said.

CBI had registered a case last year and carried out searches at the premises of Devas Limited as well as the then Executive Director of Antrix K R Sridhara Murthi in Bengaluru.

The CBI filed the First Information Report (FIR) in Bengaluru on 16 March, 2015, and slapped cases under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act in the case.

It is alleged that the accused people had entered into a criminal conspiracy and the government officials abused their position by favouring Devas by giving them rights for delivery of videos, multimedia and information services to mobile phones using S-Band through GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A satellites and terrestrial systems in India.

Those booked in the case were the then executive director of Antrix K.R. Sridhara Murthi, US-based Forge Advisors officials M.G. Chandrasekhar and R. Vishwanathan, Bengaluru-based Devas Multi-media Private Limited and unnamed officials of Antrix Corporation Ltd., ISRO and department of space.

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.

ED is probing the financial transactions in the Antrix-Devas deal which included authenticity of a few Mauritius-based entities who had stakes in Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd

(With inputs from IANS)

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