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Centre was advised on Antrix-Devas annulment in July 2010 news
09 February 2011

It has now come to light that the government of India had been advised as early as July 2010 to terminate the Antrix Corporation-Devas agreement as a policy decision in the national interest.

The deal between Antrix Corporation Ltd and Bangalore-based satellite communications and technologies firm Devas Multimedia Private Ltd, involved a lifetime lease of 90 per cent of the capacity of the S-band transponders of two satellites built by ISRO, it has now been revealed.

According to a report in The Hindu newspaper, which quoted highly placed unnamed sources in the law mnistry, advice on the whether the agreement signed on 28 January 2005 could be annulled was obtained by the dpartment of sace from a senior law officer of the government.

The legal opinion given by additional solicitor-general Mohan Parasaran said, ''It is always advisable that instead of the dpartment of space taking a decision to terminate [the agreement], it would be more prudent that a decision is taken by the government of India as a matter of policy, in exercise of its executive power, or in other words, a policy decision having the seal and approval of the cabinet and duly gazetted as per the business rules of the government of India.''

According the opinion, the government had realised after the agreement was signed that the Antrix-Devas agreement on GSAT-6 and 6A would take away most of the available S-band spectrum.

The note further said, ''The S-band spectrum is crucial for several strategic and societal services. The nntegrated space cell of IDS, ministry of defence, have projected a need for 17.5 MHz in S Band for meeting the immediate requirements of armed forces, another 40 MHz during the 12 {+t} {+h} Plan period and an additional 50 MHz during the 13 {+t} {+h} Plan period. [The] armed forces have also projected the need to build S-band satellite capacity through GSAT-7S, for national security related mobile communications.''

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Centre was advised on Antrix-Devas annulment in July 2010