The Supreme Court has upheld winding up of Devas Multimedia
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an appeal filed by Devas Multimedia challenging a court order to wind up the company. A day later, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said a 2005 deal between Devas and Antrix Corporation was a proven fraud.
Here are 10 key points on the Antrix-Devas case:
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Devas Multimedia was formed in December 2004. A year later, Devas signed a deal with Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO.
Under the agreement, Devas got bandwidth from ISRO's commercial arm to deploy services.
The government cancelled the deal in February 2011 after allegations surfaced that the deal was signed illegally.
Antrix approached the National Company Law Tribunal, or NCLAT, saying senior company officials including the then chairman in 2005 signed the contract with Devas using illegal methods.
The NCLAT, and the Bengaluru bench of the National Company Law Tribunal, or NCLT, then ordered Devas to shut shop in May 2021.
Devas and its shareholder Devas Employees Mauritius Pvt Ltd challenged the order to wind up before the Chennai bench of the NCLAT, which also dismissed the petition.
Pushing for winding up of Devas, Antrix said the contract signed in 2005 contained grounds to end the agreement over "unforeseeable circumstances".
The ISRO's commercial arm also said the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, too, found fraud in the Antrix-Devas deal.
Devas maintains the agreement with Antrix achieved tremendous innovation, and introduced and used technologies that eventually brought huge revenues to Antrix.
"If the seeds of the commercial relationship between Antrix and Devas were a product of fraud perpetrated by Devas, every part of the plant that grew out of those seeds, such as the Agreement, the disputes, arbitral awards, etc., are all infected with the poison of fraud," the Supreme Court said on Monday while upholding the winding up of Devas.