Former Isro chief G Madhavan Nair said on Monday that some rules might have been ignored in the 2005 Antrix-Devas satellite deal - prompting the ban on any government role for him - but insisted that he had done no wrong.
Nair's views, ironically, could come as a boost for the government getting flak for punishing some of India's brightest scientists - allegedly without proper investigation.On January 13, the government barred Nair and three other top scientists - all have superannuated - from taking up government roles for letting private sector Devas buy satellite transponders and spectrum from state-owned Antrix Corporation without a proper bidding process, among other things.
Antrix is the commercial arm of Isro - then headed by Nair - while Deutsche Telekom is an investor in Devas.
Nair, who was on a day trip to the capital on Monday, told HT that he agreed with the findings of the first of the two high-level probes, which pointed out procedural lapses, but ruled out any financial loss to the government on account of the deal.
But he differed with the findings of a subsequent probe ordered by the Prime Minister - who oversees the Department of Space - since its findings and recommendations were clearly different from the first one.
He said he agreed to one of the main charges that whole details of the deal were not explicitly stated before the government, hinting that this wasn't mandatory at the time.
"The details were implicit," he said without explaining.
"You can't apply rules retrospectively."
Still awaiting a response from the Prime Minister to his appeal for revoking the ban on him, Nair said he could seek "legal recourse to restore his credibility".