US court directs ISRO’s Antrix to compensate USD 1.2 billion for Bengaluru start-up

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A US court has issued an order directing the commercial wing of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Antrix Corporation to pay a compensation amount of USD 1.2 billion to a start-up company based in Bengaluru, Devas Multimedia, as it canceled a satellite deal in 2005.

According to the formal agreement signed in2005, Antrix had given a confirmation regarding building, launching and operating two satellites and to make the availability of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to Devas, which Devas had prepared to utilize for offering hybrid satellite and terrestrial communication services throughout India.

Though, Antrix terminated the agreement, earlier in February 2011. Following which, Devas attempted various legal structures over the years, inclusive of the Supreme Court, which issued a tribunal.

Judge Thomas S Zilly, US District Judge, at Western District of Washington, Seattle, issued the order dated October 27, which states that Antrix Corporation pay a compensation of USD 562.5 million to Devas Multimedia Corporation and also pay the generated interest rate, which adds up to USD 1.2 billion.

Devas Multimedia, have addressed in the lawsuit filed three individual international tribunals and nine different arbitrators testified the termination of agreement as wrongful, with one of them gave the description that “conduct ‘which shocks, or at least surprises, a sense of juridical propriety,’” and another arbitrator termed it to be “a clear breach of simple good faith” by India.

It was in July 2020, Devas and Antrix applied for instant motion. Devas had advocated for US jurisdiction stating the court had jurisdiction over the case as Antrix was involved in business in the district and other parts of United States. Antrix collaborated with RBC signals LLC, which is based at Redmond in Washington for providing space communication services to satellite operators.

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