The Cabinet Committee on Security annulled the contract between Antrix, a commercial wing of ISRO, and Bangalore-based multimedia firm Devas on the use of S-Band spectrum. The decision was taken a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to face a volley of questions on the inefficiency of Government during an interactive session with TV journalists. That the deal was dubious is now a well known fact. The CCS under the chairmanship of Prime Minister said, the Antrix-Devas contract is not ‘strategically good’ for the country. It is a serious issue that the deal which was not giving any strategic benefit to the country was given a green signal by a Ministry which is looked after by the Prime Minister himself. If the Antrix-Devas contract was made ‘mistakenly’ in the year 2005, why did it take six years to quash it? Despite the Law Ministry and Space Commission’s objection to the Antrix-Devas contract, why no action was taken against it? The Central government woke up to the S-band spectrumgate only when media whistleblowed about it, like always!

However, the Prime Minister himself gave his clarification on the S-band controversy, but he failed to convince the public about it. Afterall what took so long to annul the deal? The Prime Minister said in his clarification that the contract is not functional and delay in scrapping such deals is due to procedural twist. If the government hopes that the annulment of the Antrix-Devas contract will silence its critics, it is entirely mistaken because the dilly dallying and delay in taking firm action has exposed it before the public. In fact the controversial deal has not as much dented the exchequer as the image of the government. Right now, it is too early to anticipate the result of the enquiry on the Antrix-Devas deal, but it is certain, particularly after Devas Multimedia’s threat to move court that the ruckus created by it will continue to reverberate in the corridors of history for a long time to come.