Following a winding-up petition preferred by Central government-owned Antrix Corporation, the National Company Law Tribunal, Bengaluru ordered the appointment of a provisional liquidator to take control of the management, properties and actionable claims of Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd.
Tribunal has directed the existing management of Devas Multimedia to extend full cooperation to the provisional liquidator to carry out his duties under the Companies Act.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General N Ventkatraman with Advocate Purinma Hatti appeared for Antrix. Sr. Advocates Rajiv Nayar, Sajjan Poovayya with Advocates Dharmendra Chatur, Nandeesh Patel appeared for Devas Multimedia.
Submission of Parties
Antrix Corporation argued that the objective of Devas Multimedia was to “harm public interest and monies”. Moreover, Rs. 296 crore was used for personal gain of few officials violating law and policy.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India supported the Antrix’ s case. It was stated that the continuance of Devas Multimedia’s name on the rolls of Registrar of Companies was not warranted at all.
Devas Multimedia stated that since the cause of action arose a long time back and they should be granted time to respond before any interim orders are passed.
However, the NCLT opined that a prima facie case for grant of interim order was made out. It observed, “Since the R1 Company (Devas Multimedia) has suffered various adverse findings with cogent evidence at the hands of various statutory authorities..it would not be proper to permit R1 Company to continue its name on the rolls of Registrar of Companies, Bangalore”.
Antrix Corporation’s petition was also admitted and Devas Multimedia was granted time to file its response.
The Antrix-Devas scam pertains to the leasing of S-Band, a restricted wavelength of the INSAT satellites to deliver video, multimedia and information services to mobile receivers in vehicles and mobile phones to Devas Multimedia by Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO.
An FIR was lodged against Former ISRO chairperson G Madhavan Nair and several other officials of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Department of Space (DoS) on March 16, 2015.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had submitted a chargesheet before the Court against Nair, Rao as well as several others for causing a loss of Rs 578 crore to the exchequer by abusing their official positions to favour a private company.