Antrix-Devas deal: CAG castigates Dept of Space

New Delhi: The CAG has come down heavily on the Department of Space, particularly on its former Secretary G Madhavan Nair, in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal alleging numerous rules and policies were violated and facts concealed to favour a private company.

"The Antrix-Devas deal is a classic instance of failure of the governance structure in which selected individuals, some serving and some retired public servants, were able to successfully propel the agenda of a private entity by arrogating unto themselves, powers which they were not legitimately authorised to exercise," the CAG report said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General highlighted the alleged conflict of interest in the multiple roles exercised by Nair, saying this could have been avoided if different persons were appointed to crucial posts to ensure checks and balances. The CAG report, which was tabled in Parliament today, also criticised the Department of Space (DoS) for its failure to explore the revenue potential of 70 MHz of S-Band spectrum earmarked for Devas for an infinite period.

On the role of Nair, the report said as Chairman ISRO he appointed the Shankara Committee to examine the proposals of M/s Forge Advisors and as Secretary, DoS, Nair submitted a note to the Union Cabinet in which critical facts were concealed. As Chairman, Space Commission, he chaired meetings where approval to GSAT-6 adn 6A satellites were accorded, it noted.

"He failed to convene INSAT Coordinatin Committee meetings as its Chairman, as a result of which, concerns of key stakeholders, represented through respective Secretaries of Ministries/Departments, were effectively blocked off in the decision-making process," the CAG report said.