News-CRUX-10     19th July 2023        
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Context: In a big relief for Isro’s commercial arm Antrix against its legal fight against Bengaluru Based Devas Multimedia, a court in the Netherlands upheld the liquidation orders of the company by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the subsequent orders of the NCLAT and Supreme Court of India upholding the tribunal’s liquidation order.
  • In a judgment, the Dutch court rejected the request of Devas Multimedia America Inc (DMAI), a subsidiary of parent company Devas Multimedia, to enforce the ICC (international tribunal) judgment — which awarded $1. 2 billion compensation to Devas for a failed satellite deal with Antrix in 2005 — by seeking to seize the assets in form of contract receivables (amount received from satellite services) of Antrix as well as its sister arm NSIL in Netherlands.
  • In 2005, Devas Multimedia signed an agreement with Antrix to provide multimedia services to mobile users using the leased S-band satellite spectrum to be provided by Antrix.
  • In 2011, the UPA-2 government canceled this agreement on the ground that it needed the S-band satellite spectrum for national security and other social purposes.
  • This led to arbitration between Antrix and Devas at the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) and two bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitrations. India lost all three disputes.
  • Antrix Corporation Limited (ACL), Bengaluru is a wholly-owned Government of India Company under the administrative control of the Department of Space.
  • It is as a marketing arm of ISRO for promotion and commercial exploitation of space products, technical consultancy services and transfer of technologies developed by ISRO.
  • Antrix is engaged in providing Space products and services to international customers worldwide.