Failed 2005 satellite deal: US court refuses to stop Devas access to details of Antrix deal with US space firm

A US court has rejected a petition by Antrix, the commercial arm of Isro, to maintain a May 18 court order allowing investors in the now-liquidated startup Devas Multimedia to seek details of an agreement between Antrix and the US space launch services company. Spaceflight Inc.

The US District Court for the Western District of Washington rejected Antrix Corp.’s July 13 petition to remain in a May 18 order allowing three Mauritius investors in Devas Multimedia to access documents relating to commercial transactions between Spaceflight Inc and Antrix on a court basis. Request #%s. Antrix sought to stop the matter while an appeal was filed against the order — to recover up to $111 million in damages awarded to Devas Multimedia for the cancellation of the 2005 satellite deal.

Spaceflight Inc uses Isro missiles, among other things, to provide launch services to global customers. The company signed up in 2019 to be the first user of Isro’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle – which is still in development – and facilitated the launch of Brazil’s first satellite in February 2021 on an Indian Space Agency’s PSLV rocket.

In its May 18 order, the US court rejected Devas’ petition to define the Indian Space Research Organization and its new commercial arm, NewSpace India Limited, as altering Antrix’s vanity in the dispute over the failed 2005 Devas-Antrix satellite deal.

Investors in Devas Multimedia are attempting to seize the assets associated with Antrix Corp in the United States to impose a $1.2 billion compensation in favor of Devas Multimedia by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on September 14, 2015, to cancel the 2005 satellite deal in 2011.

The ICC order was confirmed by the US court on October 27, 2020. The Mauritius investors themselves were awarded $111 million by an arbitration court while another foreign investor, Deutsche Telekom, received $101 million.

Apart from Spaceflight Inc, Mauritius investors are also trying to seize funds in US satellite company Intelsat Service and Equipment LLC which has owed receivables to Antrix through proceedings in the US Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Antrix Corp told the US District Court for the Western District of Washington earlier this year that Intelsat, which is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings in the Eastern District of Virginia, owed the Isro business $146,457 and stated that this was the company’s only asset in the United States. we. Based on the memos, the US federal court concluded that its August 16, 2021 order, allowing discovery of the Antrix’s assets, can be registered in a Virginia court.

Under the failed 2005 Antrix-Devas deal, Isro was supposed to lease two communications satellites for 12 years at a cost of Rs 167 crore to Devas Multimedia. The start was to provide multimedia services to mobile platforms in India using space-band or S-band transceivers on Isro’s GSAT 6 and 6A satellites built at a cost of Rs 766 crore by the Indian Space Agency.

The deal was canceled by the UPA government in February 2011 amid the 2G crisis by citing S-band spectrum requirements for security purposes in the country.

After the NDA government came to power in 2014, the Execution Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation were asked to investigate the deal. These agencies are pursuing money laundering and corruption cases in India against Divas Multimedia and its officials.

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