Saturday, April 10, 2021

US Court Asks Commercial Arm Of ISRO To Pay $1.2 Billion Compensation To Bengaluru Start-up

Antrix Corporation was ordered by the US court to pay compensation for wrongfully terminating a satellite agreement. In January 2005, Antrix Corporation the commercial arm of ISRO canceled a satellite deal. Antrix had agreed to build, launch, and operate two satellites and make 70MHz of S-Band available to Devas Multimedia. The start-up had sought a judgment from several legal avenues including the Supreme Court in India. However, in February 2011 the Antrix terminated the contract.

Antrix Quoted

 The scope and duration of the said decision cannot be anticipated. It is likely to be indefinite. It is not possible for Antrix to take any effective step to resume the obligations under the agreement.

The order to compensate a Bengaluru based start-up payment of $1.2 billion was passed by US District Judge Thomas S Zilly. In the Devas lawsuit filed in the US District Court in September 2018, the start-up claims those three international tribunals and nine arbitrators considered the termination of satellite a wrongful act as per the PTI.

The three international tribunals and nine different arbitrators have found the termination of the contract to be wrongful and it surprises them that the case is a simple breach of good faith by India.

In 2018, Antrix filed a suit to dismiss the judgment on the grounds that the court has no jurisdiction over the issue. Devas, on the other hand, has taken the matter to the US court on the grounds that Antrix engages in business in this district and across the United States.

The court however claims to have jurisdiction over the matter and the matter stayed there for a year. The court has asked the two to file a joint status report by April 15, 2020. Antrix obtained an injunction from the Indian Supreme Court but after a year the court lifted the injunction. Therefore, Antrix had to participate in the arbitration.