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Govt must respect contracts, arbitral awards | Financial Express

It is unfortunate India has rejected an offer from Mauritius-based investors of Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd to settle a dispute over a terminated satellite lease deal between Devas and Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Isro. Indeed, the matter, which has dragged on for nearly a decade, is becoming increasingly mired in litigation. Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) turned down a plea by Devas to restrain the liquidator from taking any steps in relation to the arbitration pending before the Delhi High Court between the two. Devas had approached the HC, asking that the international tribunal award of $562.5 million—that it won in 2015—be enforced in its favour. In late October 2020, a Washington court upheld the arbitration award of the ICC and asked Antrix to pay Devas $1.2 billion.

According to a report in Mint, last month, a clutch of investors approached the government, hoping for an amicable settlement. However, the government continues to pursue the matter in the courts, having filed a winding up petition against Devas. In late May, the Bengaluru bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) ordered Devas be liquidated on the grounds that it was incorporated in a fraudulent manner to siphon funds to dubious foreign accounts.

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