PM's intervention sought in Isro row

A Bha­skar­n­a­rayana, former scientific secretary, Department of Space (DoS), rubbishing “allegations” that he had enjoyed the hospitality of Devas, has appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and provide justice.

The Prathyush Sinha report, a part of which was made public by the DoS earlier this month said: “It has also been brought to the notice of the team that Bhaskarnarayana, on one of his visits to the US enjoyed the hospitality of the private company (Devas) involved in this case.”

This is the only specific incident or case study that the report has mentioned. Bhaskarnarayana is one of the four scientists blacklisted from all kinds of re-employment in any of the government institutions for their alleged misdoings in the controversial $300 million Antrix-Devas deal.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, he said: “...All this is a matter of perception and I have recently appealed to the prime minister, seeking justice”. He said “there needs to be a more object assessment of incidents before making such allegations.”

The DoS though maintains that the Department of Revenue and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs have initiated investigations into this particular matter and are looking for “possible acts of omission and commission.”

Clarifying his position, he said: “I was deputed by my parent department to consult for them (Devas). There is no question of me enjoying anything. They spent on me as part of the deal, they did not pay me. There is a difference.”

He said in fact, the Indian Space Research Organisation was also paid a royalty for his consultation. “It was purely business, there was nothing personal there for me, I was only fulfilling the duty assigned to me by my employer,” he argued.

He has also clarified his position on some of the statements in Chapter six of the Chaturvedi report. “I hope the prime minister does the needful and provide justice,” he said.

Also, the Centre has not initiated any form of communication with the blacklisted scientists, a problem that all of them have objected to.

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