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S-band scam: Govt to scrap Antrix Devas deal

Feb 10, 2011 06:57 AM IST India India
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New Delhi: It is the Prime Minister himself who is being targetted in the latest S-band spectrum scam. Was he and the entire cabinet kept in the loop on all the details about the Antrix-Devas deal?

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan said, "Maybe some facts should have been better presented".

CNN-IBN has now accessed legal opinion sought by the government in 2010 asking a direct question- could the Antrix Devas contract be annulled or not?

The government's legal officer had given his opinion way back in July 2010 that the only way to cancel the deal would be through a change in government policy.

Parsaram's view was the need for spectrum was totally different in 2005 and 2010. Government's policies regarding allocation of satellite spectrum had undergone a sea change due to the increase in demand for allocation of spectrum. So the best way out for the government was to cite national interest being adversely affected by the deal.

Senior Lawyer, Kharge said, "If the deal would have been scrapped off, then it poses a danger where the government would have been forced to pay a huge amount as damaged".

Another lawyer Gopal Jain said, "The law officer should have directly said what should be done. This is almost as if he is building a case for destroying the deal".

The bigger question the government will have to answer now is just why has it been struggling to cancel this deal if it had been armed with a legal opinion an year back.

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