New Delhi, Aug 29 (SocialNews.XYZ) In a breather to Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO, the Delhi High Court on Monday set aside an arbitral order which had directed the former to pay damages of over $560 million along with interest to Bengaluru-based Devas Multimedia Private Ltd.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said the order of September 14, 2015 by the International Chamber of Commerce suffers from patent illegalities, fraud and is in conflict with public policy of India.
"...the Arbitral Tribunal has incorrectly excluded the evidence pertaining to the pre-contractual negotiations which it could not have and has thus committed a patent illegality in the award," the court held.
It also pointed out that already "the Supreme Court by its judgment dated January 17, 2022 has held that the very seeds of the commercial relationship between Antrix and Devas were a product of fraud perpetrated by Devas and thus every part of the plant that grew out of those seeds, such as the agreement, the disputes, arbitral awards etc., are all infected with the poison of fraud".
"The basic notions of morality and justice are always in conflict with fraud and that allowing Devas and its shareholders to reap the benefits of their fraudulent action, would send another wrong message, namely that by adopting fraudulent means and by bringing into India an investment in a sum of Rs 579 crore, the investors can hope to get tens of thousands of crores of rupees, even after siphoning off Rs 488 crore," the court said.
Antrix is a Central Government Public Sector Enterprise and Government Company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and is engaged in the business of marketing and sale of products and services of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to national and international customers.
Devas is a limited liability company incorporated on December 17, 2004 under the Companies Act 1956.