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Moily meets PC over Devas deal cancellation

February 18, 2011 21:07 IST

A day after the government decided to scrap the Antrix-Devas S-Band spectrum allocation deal, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily met Home Minister P Chidambaram discussing legal ramifications of the move against the backdrop of the private company threatening to sue the government.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily is understood to have met Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday evening to discuss the possible legal ramifications of the annulment. Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium was also present in the meeting, sources said. The three are learnt to have discussed the possibility of Devas approaching an international court of arbitration abroad and the ways to deal with the possible legal battle.

Devas Multimedia had threatened to move court if the government

took any unilateral decision to terminate the deal. "Even if they go to court, they are not likely to succeed," Moily had said yesterday when asked whether the government was ready to face the legal challenges put up by Devas.

The Cabinet Committee on Security, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had decided to annul the contract Antrix -- the commercial arm of ISRO -- had entered into with private company Devas Multimedia under which it was to lease out 90 per cent transponders on two of ISRO's satellites GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A.

Under the agreement signed in January 2005, Devas was to lease transponder capacity from the two satellites at a cost of US $ 300 million (approximately Rs 1350 crore) spread over 12 years. Some estimates said the deal was heavily undervalued.

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