BANGALORE: In a smooth, late-night operation, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released the Devas-Antrix controversy fact-finding report in three parts. They are: 1) A statement on high-powered review committee (HPRC) and high-level team on Antrix-Devas agreement -status of follow-up actions (Feb 04, 2012); 2) The full text of main report of the HPRC on various aspects of Antrix-Devas agreement, set up by the government on February 10, 2011; 3) The conclusions and recommendations of the report of the high-level team on Antrix-Devas agreements, set up by the government on May 31, 2011.
The entire document, split into three parts and consisting of 74 pages, nails G Madhavan Nair, A Bhaskaranarayana, K R Sridhara Murthi and K N Shankara. It also names four more officials responsible for the acts of omissions and they include: S S Meenakshisundaram, Veena S Rao, G Balachandran and R G Nadadur.
The report prepared by B K Chaturvedi and Roddam Narasimha, says the terms of the Antrix-Devas contract were heavily loaded in favour of Devas as brought out in the relevant section of this report. “In this context, some facts bear repetition. The terms of agreement entail that while in the case of the failure of the satellite, the risk was entirely that of Department of Space, the success of the satellite would commit latter to substantial expenditure. It is surprising that for the purpose of arbitration, Devas has been considered an international customer, even though its registered address in the contract is shown as in Bangalore,” says the report.
The report concludes that there have been not only serious administrative and procedural lapses, but also suggestion of collusive behaviour on the part of certain individuals. While summing up the case, the report says that “it is the case of differentiated responsibility on the party of many, where a few individuals were able to bring fruition a proposal with adverse implications for ISRO/DOS”. It further adds that there was no resistance from “many others” who were charged with the responsibility of ensuring transparency and objectivity in the government decision-making process.
While the punishments recommended vary, the report wants the government to take action according to rule of from and provisions of law.
ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan came to Bangalore from Delhi around 7.15 pm on Saturday and is said to have got into a huddle with ISRO officials within an hour of landing here to discuss the modalities of making the report public. When Express tracked him down, he would only say: “Everything is on the website. You read it.”