Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Failed 2005 satellite deal: Air India opposes new identity for Devas’ Mauritius investors in US courts

Air India has opposed a move by three Mauritius-based investors in startup firm Devas Multimedia to be identified as new entities registered in the United States to enforce compensation awards made in favour of the investors, and Devas Multimedia, by multiple international arbitration courts.

The Air India move comes in the wake of three foreign investors in Devas Multimedia — CC/Devas (Mauritius) Limited., Telecom Devas Mauritius Limited, and Devas Employees Mauritius Private Limited — seeking to be identified as CCDM Holdings, LLC, Telcom Devas, LLC, and Devas Employees Fund US, LLC. This is to continue proceedings to attach assets of Air India for recovery of nearly $1.2 billion in compensation awarded over the cancellation of 2005 satellite deal signed by Devas with Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Antrix Corporation.

The investors have sought substitution of the current entities in litigation in multiple courts in the US in the wake of the Supreme Court of India upholding a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order for liquidation of Devas Multimedia in India.

The substitution of entities has been sought by the Devas’ investors under a US rule which allows the ‘transfer of interest’ in cases that are being heard in a court.

The three Mauritius-based investors were initially allowed by a US federal court to intervene on behalf of Devas Multimedia on February 24, 2021, in the wake of the Antrix Corporation seeking liquidation of Devas on the grounds that fraud was involved in the creation of the startup in Bengaluru in December 2004.

At the time, the liquidator for Devas Multimedia – who has taken over the company – argued that the US federal court cannot allow shareholders in Devas to proceed on behalf of the company since “it may run counter-productive to the efforts of the official liquidator” to liquidate Devas.

“Shareholders taking proactive steps in the United States to enforce the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) award are committing contempt of court against the Supreme Court of India,” the liquidator argued.

25/01/22 Indian Express

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