Foreign investors granted permission to seize funds from Intelsat in Devas-Antrix disputeForeign investors of Devas Multimedia, a start-up firm, have been granted permission by a US court to seize $87,457 from the bankrupt US satellite company, Intelsat. This move is part of their efforts to recover more than $1.2 billion from Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), following the cancellation of a 2005 satellite deal. The investors, who are based in Mauritius, have been attempting to seize funds at Intelsat that are payable to Antrix through legal proceedings in the US federal court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
During the bankruptcy proceedings in the same district, Intelsat was found to owe $146,457 to the commercial arm of ISRO, out of which $87,457 is the amount available for seizure by the foreign investors of Devas Multimedia. The investors are seeking to enforce a $1.2 billion compensation award, which was made in favour of Devas Multimedia by an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in 2015 for the cancellation of the 2005 satellite deal by India in 2011.
The ICC order was confirmed by a US court in Washington in October 2020. Despite Intelsat’s plea to stay the efforts by the Devas Multimedia investors to seize its assets, the US court for the Eastern District of Virginia rejected the plea and ordered Intelsat to hand over a cheque for $87,457 to Devas Multimedia America, the US arm of Devas, on July 29.
The failed 2005 Antrix-Devas deal involved the lease of two communication satellites for 12 years at a cost of Rs 1.67 billion to Devas Multimedia.
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