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India’s Supreme Court dismisses Devas claim

June 17, 2021

By Chris Forrester

The Devas vs Antrix law-suit rumbles on. India’s Supreme Court this week dismissed an application from Devas Multimedia to restrain the liquidator from taking any action pending upcoming arbitration proceedings due to heard before the High Court of India in Delhi.

Devas is pursuing its claim of $562.5 million plus interest against Antrix.

However, on May 25th India’s National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT, at Bengaluru) ordered the forcible liquidation and winding up of Devas Multimedia. The petition for the liquidation was moved by India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its commercial arm Antrix Corp.

The overall litigation goes back to 2005 when ISRO and its commercial arm Antrix, signed an agreement with Devas Multimedia to lease 70 MHz of S-band spectrum on two ISRO satellites. The intention was for Devas to supply broadband connectivity using the frequencies.

Devas Multimedia was awarded $1.3 billion by an International Chamber of Commerce tribunal in 2017. It has yet to collect a penny despite having its claim further endorsed by various Courts including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law tribunal in October 2020.

Also involved is Germany’s Deutsche Telekom which is suing the Indian government for $135 million in a US court in the District of Columbia and arguing that the Indian government had violated a bilateral investment treaty between Germany and India signed on July 10th 1995 for Promotion and Protection of Investments with the cancellation of the Devas-Antrix deal in February 2011.

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