Stating that BWA can benchmark value of space band spectrum committed to Devas, CAG noted the firm offered superior services. “It is evident that service offered (by Devas) had considerable fiscal potential…by not following due process, the revenue interests of the government have been totally ignored,” the auditor said.
CAG said Isro cleared the Devas proposal of a hybrid system delivering internet services, including multimedia through landline and satellite to both home and mobile or vehicles, despite being aware that the deal needed multiministerial clearances. When the deal was signed in 2006, Isro did not consult ministries of information and broadcasting and telecommunication over use of spectrum for wireless and broadcast services. Approval from Cabinet for Devas services was not sought, licensing conditions ignored and satellite communication (SATCOM) policy violated. CAG was scathing on Nair’s role in the Devas deal, pointing out that between 2004 and 2009, he performed multiple roles. As Isro chairman, he set up a committee to finalize financial aspects without having a member with such expertise. As chairman of Antrix, the commercial arm, he allowed a transponder lease agreement.
As secretary DoS, he concealed from the Cabinet the purpose of GSAT 6, says the CAG report. As chairman of Space Commission, he again hid the Devas deal, it adds. Finally, as chairman of Intsat coordination committee, he did not convene a single meeting after 2004. While slamming Nair and senior Isro officials for offering Devas a sweetheart deal, the auditor raised oversight issues although it spared the PMO, which supervises the department of space.