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New probe into controversial Antrix-Devas deal

New Delhi: With an aim of identifying individuals responsible for the controversial Antrix-Devas deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ordered a new inquiry by former central vigilance commissioner Pratyush Sinha.

The Sinha panel has been set up in pursuance to the recommendations of the BK Chaturvedi committee that went into the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreement between ISRO`s commercial arm Antrix and Devas.

The Sinha Committee has been asked to look into matters of individual culpability and fix responsibility, if any and submit a report by July end, the sources said. New probe into controversial Antrix-Devas deal

As per the deal, signed when G Madhavan Nair was at the helm of affairs in the Department of Space, Antric was to provide 70 MHz of the scarce S-Band space segment to Devas for its digital multimedia services.

This was to be done by leasing 90 per cent of the transponders in satellites GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A that are proposed to be launched by ISRO. Devas, in turn, was to pay Antrix a total of USD 300 million over 12 years.

After news reports about the possible revenue loss appeared, the Government said the project was already under review and action has been initiated for termination of the contract.

Government annulled the deal on February 17. The Chaturvedi Committee, which also included aerospace scientist Roddam Narsimha, submitted its report to the Prime Minister on March 12.

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