Corruption

Scam-tainted former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair joins BJP

Madhavan Nair was charged by the CBI as an accused in the ₹578-crore Antrix-Devas scam after serving as the chairman of governing body of the Antrix corporation, the commercial arm of ISRO

NH Web Desk

Former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief G Madhavan Nair joined the BJP on October 27.

At a function in Trivandrum, BJP president Amit Shah welcomed the former rocket scientist in the party.

Madhavan Nair was instrumental in India's first Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-1. He served as ISRO chairman during from 2003 to 2009,

He was charged by the CBI as an accused in the ₹ 578-Crore Antrix-Devas scam after serving as the chairman of governing body of the Antrix corporation, the commercial arm of ISRO.

In the year 2005, a ₹1400 crore deal was signed between Antrix and Devas Multimedia Limited to deliver video, multimedia and information services to mobile receivers and mobile phones through satellite. ISRO was supposed to build and launch two satellites, which were to be leased out to Devas.

The chargesheet by the CBI said the deal had violated the guidelines set by ISRO. The CBI alleged that Nair and other officials of ISRO and the Department of Space wrongfully leased out S-Band, restricted wavelength of INSAT satellites, to Devas Multimedia.

The CBI has also alleged that Antrix sought approval for building of the satellite, suppressing facts from the union cabinet. Devas had claimed that they had ownership and rights to use intellectual property in designing digital multimedia receivers and commercial information devices. The agency said it was a false claim.

According to a report in NDTV, Madhavan Nair has denied any wrongdoing and blamed that he is being dragged.

"There was nothing wrong in the deal and I do not know how the chargesheet has come. There was vested interest behind this and the previous ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan had given wrong statements," Nair had said.

In December last year, Nair was granted bail by a Delhi court in the case.

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