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Ex-ISRO chief slams twin probe reports

Nair says reports indicted him and three other scientists are ‘one-sided and inaccurate’. HT reports. ISRO report indicts Nair, 3 others in Antrix-Devas deal | 'Report inaccurate'

delhi Updated: Feb 06, 2012 01:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair has slammed the twin probe reports on the multi-billion dollar Antrix-Devas spectrum deal, saying they were “one-sided and inaccurate”.

Two committees—one headed by former cabinet secretary BK. Chaturvedi and Space Commission member Roddam Narasimha and the second headed by former Central Vigilance Commission chairman Pratyush Sinha—have indicted Nair in the controversial $300 billion deal of 2005.

The probe reports, released on Saturday on the official websites of the ISRO and the space department, have held Nair and three other space scientists responsible for serious irregularities and procedural lapses in signing the contract. The contract allotted 70MHz of the scarce S-band spectrum (radio waves) to the Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia Services Ltd for digital services using ISRO’s transponders.

“ I can categorically say they are one-sided and not based on all facts. Let me first get the reports and study them. Then only I will be able to rebut and defend my position,” Nair said in Bangalore.

Meanwhile, the BJP questioned PM Manmohan Singh’s "silence" on the row and demanded that he come clean as he holds the Space portfolio.

"The government has a lot of explaining to do. The PM has to say what was the process adopted in the decision making, who were in-charge when the deal was struck,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said in Chennai.

Slamming Nair, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the scientist was free to disagree with the reports and take appropriate action.

Singhvi also said political parties should not speak on the deal as it is a legal issue.“It is not for a political party to comment on largely legal matters. It is an issue between the government and Mr Nair. Certainly you have two rival claims about this domain," Singhvi said in Kolkata.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Feb 05, 2012 13:50 IST