The Hague Rejects India's Plea on Devas Investors Award

The Hague Rejects India's Plea on Devas Investors Award
Posted on 06-11-2023

The Hague Court Rejects India's Plea to Cancel $111 Million Award to Devas Investors

The recent news highlights a decision by the court in The Hague, Netherlands, which has rejected India's request to annul a $111 million compensation awarded to foreign investors in the Indian satellite company, Devas Multimedia. This compensation was granted by a tribunal due to the cancellation of a satellite deal between India's ISRO's Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia in 2011.

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), a body under the United Nations General Assembly, plays a crucial role in harmonizing international trade law.

In the background of the case, the Devas-Antrix deal was initially signed in 2005, involving ISRO leasing two communication satellites to Devas for multimedia services in India. However, the deal was canceled in 2011 by the government, citing security concerns and allegations of undervaluation of spectrum.

Foreign investors in Devas Multimedia, including Deutsche Telekom and Mauritius investors, sought compensation through international tribunals. As a result, substantial awards were granted to them, with Devas Multimedia receiving $1.2 billion, Deutsche Telekom $101 million, and the Mauritius investors $111 million.

In India, the National Company Law Tribunal ordered the liquidation of Devas Multimedia in 2021, and this decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2022. Additionally, the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation in India are investigating money laundering and corruption cases related to Devas and its officials.

In the recent development, the Indian government attempted to challenge the compensation awarded to the Mauritius investors in The Hague's district court, citing the Supreme Court's order on the liquidation of Devas Multimedia as fresh evidence. However, the court in The Hague rejected this plea, stating that the accusations of deceit, fraud, and corruption had already been addressed by the previous legal proceedings related to the compensation award.

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