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Antrix hit with $1.2bn verdict

October 30, 2020

By Chris Forrester

The commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, Antrix, has been ordered by a US Federal Court in an arbitration to pay $1.2 billion to Devas Multimedia.

The US federal court for the Western District (in Washington) has confirmed an arbitration award made by the International Court of Commerce on September 14th 2015, in favour of Devas Multimedia — on account of the Indian government cancelling a 2005 satellite deal in February 2011 by citing the need for usage of the S-band spectrum for security communications.

Devas Multimedia, started by a few former ISRO officials and US businessmen, subsequently filed with the US federal court for confirmation of the ICC arbitration award made in in 2018. Last year, the US court imposed a formal one year stay on proceedings to await progress in cases filed in the Indian courts.

“The petition to confirm foreign arbitral award, is granted,” US federal court Judge Thomas S Zilly said in an 18-page order issued on October 27th. According to the court ruling, the “full amount of the award – $562.5 million – together with pre-award simple interest at the rate of three-month US$ LIBOR +4 per cent, from February 25th 2011, to the date of the award, September 14th 2015 (an extra $672,791.593)” is the compensation that Antrix Corporation has to pay Devas Multimedia for cancellation of the 2005 agreement.

Additionally, the Arbitration court has ruled that simple interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum on the award amount “from the date of the award” (which is September 14t 2015) “to the date that judgment is entered (at $331,787 per day)” must be paid by ISRO. “Any objections to the amount of the Judgment shall be filed on or before November 3rd,” the court stated.

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