India to appeal against Hague tribunal’s verdict on Antrix-Devas deal

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 27, 2016 20:02 IST
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists and engineers at their Spacecraft Control Centre in Bengaluru. (Reuters File Photo)

India will appeal against the verdict of the Hague tribunal in Antrix-Devas deal case, in which the international court had declared the annulling of the contract as “unfair” and “inequitable” and asked it to pay a huge amount as compensation.

“We will appeal against the verdict at Hague (tribunal),” said AS Kirankumar, secretary, Department of Space. He, however, declined to comment any further on the issue.

India lost the arbitration case in a Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) tribunal based in the Hague over its space marketing PSU Antrix Corp, annulling a contract with Bengaluru-based private multimedia firm Devas.

The tribunal ruled that the Indian government had acted “unfairly” and “inequitably” in cancelling the contract involving use of two satellites and spectrum.

The tribunal has found that the Indian government’s actions in annulling the contract and denying Devas commercial use of S-band spectrum constituted an expropriation, Devas Multimedia Private Ltd has claimed.

Hitting back, the government had defended the decision of annulling the deal, saying it was taken considering the “essential security interests” through well-reasoned, valid and proper consultations in the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Space (DoS) had said the limited liability of compensation would be only up to 40% of the value of the investment and the exact quantum has not yet been determined.

“The government of India reiterates that it had invoked the essential security interests through a well reasoned, valid and proper CCS decision,” the DoS said.

Under the deal signed in 2005, Antrix was to provide 70 MHz of the scarce S-Band wavelength to Devas for its digital multimedia services by leasing 90% of the transponders in ISROs GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A satellites.

Devas, in turn, was to pay Antrix a total of USD 300 million over 12 years.

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