The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has squarely blamed the Department of Space (DoS) and its former secretary G Madhavan Nair of concealing facts and bending rules to favour a private company in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal.
The CAG report, tabled in Parliament today, said the DoS "went beyond its remit" as laid down in the Allocation of Business Rules, "concealed facts" from the union cabinet and "violated" numerous rules, policies and procedures to appropriate the benefits from a government entity.
In his note to the union cabinet, Nair concealed critical facts on the sale, the report said.
The CAG report also criticised the Department of Space (DoS) for earmarking 70 MHz of S-Band spectrum for Devas for an infinite period without exploring its revenue potential.
"The Antrix-Devas deal is a classic instance of failure of the governance structure in which selected individuals, some serving and some retired public servants, were able to successfully propel the agenda of a private entity by arrogating unto themselves, powers which they were not legitimately authorised to exercise," the CAG report said.
The CAG report said the multiple roles held by Nair as chairman of the INSAT Coordination Committee (ICC) and the Space Commission, secretary to the department of space must have led to a conflict of interest. Had different persons been holding these various posts, a conflict of interest would have been avoided through built-n checks and balances, the report said.