Antrix-Devas deal: Govt ready to hear scientists' views

Government on Sunday said it is ready to hear the points of view of four scientists, including former ISRO chief Madhavan Nair, who have been barred from occupying any government posts in connection with the controversial Antrix-Devas deal.

"We are ready to hear their points of view. Let them give their views", Minister of State in the PMO V. Narayanasamy said.

Asked whether there was any move to revoke the decision, he said: "How can I say that now. Let them give their points of view first."

The government would consider the version of the scientists, he said.

The government had earlier this month barred Nair and three other senior space scientists from all current and future government jobs for their alleged role in Antrix Corporation's deal with Devas Multimedia for leasing out bulk transponders on two satellites for launch of digital multimedia services.

The contract related to allocation of scarce S-band space segment to private firm Devas.

Taking serious exception to the move, Prof C. N. R. Rao, Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, had yesterday said Nair and three fellow space scientists were 'thrown out like garbage'.

Rao had targeted Narayanasamy for his reported comments that the government decision was taken to send a strong message to the scientific community that no wrongdoing would be tolerated.

Earlier, reacting to the decision, 68-year-old Nair had hit back at the government for taking action 'in violation of principles of natural justice and tarnishing the image of reputed people like him'.

He has also attacked the incumbent ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan, saying that he had misled the government on the issue. Radhakrishnan has reportedly remained unfazed by his Nair's outbursts against him and has chosen not to react.

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