Nair demands fresh probe into Antrix-Devas deal

Bangalore: Expressing reservations over the Prathyush Sinha-led committee probe into the controversial Antrix-Devas spectrum allocation row, former ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair has urged the PMO for a fresh "comprehensive" enquiry into issue.

"A comprehensive enquiry should be held into the whole issue since inception of Devas to till the cancellation of the Antrix-Devas agreement and action taken against me and (three) other scientists on the basis of the Prathyush Sinha committee," Nair demanded in his letter to the PMO, the second one he shot off last week.

Nair said he wrote the letter to the PMO sometime middle of last week accusing the Department of Space (DoS) of having got the entire thing "completely wrong" while deciding the cancellation and other issues concerning the Antrix-Devas deal.

"Either people who are involved in the DoS have not understood the issue properly or there was some pressure from some quarters," Nair said without naming anyone. He had earlier blamed ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan for the action initiated by the government against him and three others barring them from holding any government posts.

Virtually coming down on the five-member committee headed by Sinha, Nair said proper procedure was not followed in the report, which led the government to take action against him and others. "No procedure was followed while taking action. Reasons cited for cancelling the contract are not accurate. The committee distorted facts," he alleged.

Nair further said the DoS should have looked into the advantages of such allocation of spectrum as it was necessary for mobile telephone technology. "What went behind the scene while taking a decision on cancelling the spectrum allocation should be looked into," he demanded.

Earlier in his letter to PMO, Nair had protested the action taken against him and fellow scientists. The PMO action had come in for flak from the scientific community, which included well-known scientist Prof C N R Rao and others.

Recently, another distinguished space scientist, Prof Roddam Narasimha, too expressed displeasure over the action initiated against Nair and quit as Space Commission Member.

Narasimha on Saturday said he was yet to decide on the PMO`s request for reconsidering decision to quit the Space Commission, with which he had been associated for about 20 years.