DOS getting clearances for releasing panel reports on deal

The Department of Space is in the process of getting clearances for release of reports of two committees on the controversial Antrix-Devas deal on the basis of which former ISRO chief G. Madhavan Nair and three other scientists were barred from holding any government posts.

This was announced on Tuesday by ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan, also the DOS Secretary, in a brief statement in his first comments on the issue ever since the controversy erupted over the damning action taken against the four space scientists.

Radhakrishnan said DOS was in the process of getting necessary clearances for releasing reports of the High Powered Review Committee and the High Level Team formed to examine various aspects of the Antrix-Devas agreement of January 2005.

The government had on February 10, 2011 set up the High Powered Review Committee with B. K. Chaturvedi and Prof Roddam Narasimha as members to review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreement.

The five-member high level team, headed by former Central Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha, was set up on May 31, 2011 to examine the deal and identify the acts of omission and commission by government officials.

Bitter over the government action, Nair has demanded an apology from those responsible for it and dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for revoking the official order barring them from holding government posts.

In his letter, Nair also wanted a probe into the entire matter that led to the action that has caused outrage among the scientific community.

Nair, the key figure behind India's moon mission, had accused Radhakrishnan of being responsible for the punitive action against him and the three others because of a ‘personal agenda’.

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