ISRO’s Antrix Corp Asked to Pay $1.2 Billion To Bengaluru Start-Up

Antrix Corporation was ordered by a US court to pay compensation for wrongfully terminating a satellite agreement. 

Published
India
2 min read
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Image for representational purposes.
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A US court has asked Antrix Corporation, which is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to compensate a Bengaluru-based startup with a payment of $1.2 billion for cancelling a satellite deal in 2005, PTI reported.

In January 2005, according to the agreement, Antrix agreed to build, launch and operate two satellites and make 70 MHz of S-band spectrum available to Devas. However, Antrix reportedly terminated the contract In February 2011 and Devas, the start-up, pursued several legal avenues, including the Supreme Court in India.

Antrix was quoted saying that “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 was passed on 27 October by US District Judge Thomas S Zilly.

In Devas’ lawsuit filed in the US District court in September 2018, the start-up stated that three different international tribunals and nine arbitrators had found the termination of the satellite agreement to be wrongful, according to PTI.

In November 2018, Antrix had sought the dismissal of the lawsuit citing jurisdictional issues. However, the court asserted that it had jurisdiction over the issue.

The matter was stayed for a year and then later the court asked the the two to file a joint status report by 15 April 2020, India Today reported.

On 16 July 2020, both Devas and Antrix filed the instant motion, a Joint Status Report in which they disputed whether the court should lift or extend the stay.

Devas has argued that the US court has jurisdiction over these cases because Antrix engages in business in this district and across the United States.

(With inputs from PTI and India Today)

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