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FM Sitharaman slams UPA govt over 2005 Antrix-Devas deal; Terms it fraud against country citing SC order

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday hit out at the Congress saying it should come clean on Antrix-Devas deal after Supreme Court’s order upholding the liquidation of Devas Multimedia.

Addressing media on Antrix-Devas deal issue, she said that yesterday Supreme Court upheld the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, NCLAT and National Company Law Tribunal, NCLT order to wind up Devas Multimedia which is a very comprehensive order. The National Company Law Tribunal had ordered winding up of Devas in May 2021 on a petition by Antrix. This was affirmed by NCLAT in September last year.

Ms Sitharaman said that Antrix, the Commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation appeared in agreement with Devas in 2005 during the UPA government which was a fraud deal. She said, the UPA government cancelled this deal in 2011. She also mentioned that in 2011, when the whole deal was cancelled, Devas went to international arbitration and that time the Government never appointed an arbitrator as was reminded to appoint arbitrator within 21 days, but the government did not appoint it.

The Finance minister also said that this deal was done against the national security of India and now it should be Congress party’s turn to tell how this kind of fraud was perpetrated on people of the country.

She alleged that the deal and Supreme Court’s order reflect how UPA government indulged in wrong practices. She also accused the Congress of not invoking the national security clause adding that this kind of selling of primary endowments like wavelengths, satellites or spectrum band, giving it away to private parties and making money from private parties and making a deal out of it marks the feature of the Congress government.

The Finance Minister said that the NDA government is fighting in every court so that Devas does not get away with the fraud deal. She said the liquidator has been appointed and the winding up process will begin soon. She also said that the NDA government is  fighting to save taxpayers’ money which otherwise would have gone towards the scandalous Antrix-Devas deal.


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