Breaking up is Hard to Do [Frontline]
A series of articles appearing in India’s Frontline magazine explores in detail the controversial satellite-lease deal between Antrix Corp., the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Devas Multimedia, including the potential legal avenues for terminating the arrangement. The Indian government announced it would annul the five-year old deal in which Devas, a company run by former ISRO officials, was given what has been described a sweetheart deal to lease 90 percent of the capacity on a pair of S-band satellites under construction by ISRO.
The government has not yet said what law it would invoke to kill the deal, and Devas said it is contemplating legal action against the government.
“If the government and ISRO find themselves in a terrible legal mess, it is partly owing to the veil of secrecy maintained over the agreement between 2005 and 2010, because of which the pros and cons of the agreement could not be discussed in the public domain before it was signed. Ironically, it is this obsession with secrecy that resulted in the inability to foresee the likely huge demand for spectrum allocation for national needs in different areas in 2005,” the article concludes.
To learn everything one might want to know about the deal, its origins and Indian telecommunications policy: