Antrix moves City court against Devas

Antrix moves City court against Devas

Antrix’ petititon seeking Devas Multimedia to be restrained from approaching the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) at Paris for restoration of its annulled contract for transponders on two Isro satellites was heard by a court here on Thursday.

The Additional City Civil and Session Judge D B Patil posted the matter to February 25. A similar petition by Antrix in the Supreme Court is set for hearing on Friday.

The Department of Space had moved both the local court here and the Supreme Court last year after Devas had moved the ICA on the cancellation of its contract with Antrix, apparently, in violation of the agreement clauses.

Devas had moved the ICA in July 2011, following the Centre annulling the deal owing it to ‘national interest’ and the findings of the high level committee in February 2011.
Devas, which has sought restoration of the estimated $300 million contract with

Antrix, refused to comment on the matter. “Since it is in the court, we do not want to say anything,” one of its spokespersons said, while its CEO remained elusive even on Thursday.

Speaking to Deccan Herald,Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) V Narayanasamy said the PMO was firm on the stand that no legal option within the country should be left unexhausted before we represent before any international court.

The minister said Devas had violated the terms of the contract with Antrix, which very clearly says that all disputes must be taken up within the country (India) first.

One of the inquiries into the controversial contract has raised objections about the international court having accepted the Bangalore-based Devas an as international client of Antrix. Sources said further action against Devas would be chalked out after the Supreme Court decision.

The Supreme Court will hear the Antrix matter on Friday in the backdrop of reports from the US that money is being spent by Devas to get its case forward.

An agency report has said Devas paid lobbying firm Hogan Lovells $1,40,000 to push its case with the US administration, adding Devas hired Hogan Lovells in June 2011.

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