New Delhi (Agencies): In the allocation of space spectrum S-band controversy, the ISRO Chief K Radhakrishnan on Tuesday evening said that the Antrix-Devas deal was recommended to be annulled in 2010 and that it was going through the process expected to be completed soon.

“As of now the contract is not terminated but the process of termination is on. The decision relating to process of termination of contract was taken in July 2010. We are in the process of consultations,” said Radhakrishnan addressing the media persons on Tuesday.

When we have to terminate a contract, it is a complex process, that is what we are going through, so that government does not incur damage or financial loss, said he.

“We have not either given either the spectrum or satellite transponders to M/s Devas or Antrix Corporation so far,” said he.

K Kasturirangan, former ISRO Chief and currently Member, Planning Commission said, “The review of the agreement by the Department of Space was on since 2009. No time was wasted, no question of dilly-dallying. The review only shows robustness of decision-making.”

PMO denies revenue loss

New Delhi (Agencies): Denying the media reports on the revenue losses in the allocation of space spectrum using S-band - high value and scarce radio waves, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Tuesday said the government has not taken any decision and hence charges of revenue loss of a whopping Rs two lakh crore were without any basis.

The PMO clarification came even the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) upped its ante over the issue that brings Prime Minister Manmohan Singh under the scanner, saying ISRO is directly under his charge and he cannot escape responsibility or accountability for the 2005 "deal".

"It is clarified that no decision has been taken by the government to allocate space segment using S-Band spectrum to ANTRIX or Devas. Hence, the question of revenue loss does not arise and any such reports are without basis in fact," the PMO statement said.

Media reports had stated that the Department of Space, which comes directly under the Prime Minister, had allocated 70 MHz of S-Band spectrum to Devas Multimedia for Rs 1,000
crore. The actual value of this was estimated to be around Rs 2 lakh crore, the reports claimed.

A statement from the PMO said that the office had seen media reports alleging loss of government revenue in a contract entered into by ANTRIX (the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation) and Devas Multimedia Private Limited due to lease of space segment capacity which would use S-Band spectrum.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was then Union minister dealing with the department, said in Mumbai, "in 2010, when I was a member of the Space Commission,
this issue came up...it was decided to cancel it (agreement), that I am sure".

In Bangalore, former ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair, who was heading the organisation in 2005, sought to distance himself from the whole controversy on the ground that the organisation had nothing to do with spectrum allocation.

"Spectrum allocation is not our business. We build and operate satellites".

BJP hits out

BJP alleged that the allocation was done quietly and without bringing the issue into the public domain.

Dubbing the PMO clarification as meaningless, the party said there are important questions which the Prime Minister must explain to the nation.

"It is self evident that Manmohan Singh is leading a regime that is the most corrupt after independence...yet it is claimed that he is Mr.Clean", BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

Prasad said Singh should answer whether ISRO sought his approval for the 2005 deal and if so on what terms and conditions.

"There is collusion at high level. There are no checks and balances and there is virtual collapse of the system where scam after scam and scandal after scandal has become the order of the day", he said.