A US court has asked the Commercial wing of Indian Space Research Institute (ISRO), Antrix Corporation to pay compensation worth $1.2 billion to the Bengaluru-based startup Devas Multimedia for the cancellation of a 2005 satellite agreement.
According to the agreement signed between the two parties, Antrix agreed to build, launch and operate two satellites and to make available 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to Devas which the latter decided to offer hybrid satellite and terrestrial communication services throughout India.
The agreement was signed in 2005 and was terminated in the year 2011. Following this, Devas approached many legal avenues in India including Supreme Court. SC directed Devas for a tribunal.
The order announced by Judge Thomas S Zilly, US District Judge, Western District of Washington, Seattle, on October 27 ruled that Antrix Corporation should pay $1.2 billion to Devas Multimedia. Among this $1.2 billion, $562.5 million is the actual compensation amount, and rest of the amount is interest rate.
When filed a lawsuit in the US district court, Western District of Washington in September 2018, Devas Multimedia mentioned that three separate international tribunals and nine different arbitrators have found the cancellation of agreement wrongful, with one tribunal calling it as a conduct which shocks, or at least surprises, a sense of juridical propriety, while another found it a clear breach of good faith in India.