The government examines the measures to seize the personal assets of the leaders of Devas Multimedia

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New Delhi, January 18

Building on the Supreme Court’s decision in the DEVAS case, the government is considering invoking provisions of the Companies Act that involve seizing the personal assets of people associated with Devas and those involved in the decision to seal the company. agreement between the commercial arm of ISRO and DEVAS.

A day after the SC upheld a decision by the National Company Law Tribunal to liquidate DEVAS (Digitally Enhanced Video and Audio Services), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched a blistering attack on Congress for handing over the airwaves used by the department of Defense to a private company. “After almost 10-11 years of struggle, the Supreme Court has rendered its decision on the case. This shows how the Congress party abused its position when in power,” the finance minister said.

She said that Antrix entered into an agreement with Devas to provide multimedia services to mobile users, for which it received S-band satellite spectrum without the knowledge of the Union Cabinet. She said Congress took six years to nullify the deal and the government at the time failed to take action to fight the arbitration the private company filed against the nullification. she added.

“This is a fraud of Congress, by Congress (and) for Congress,” the minister said, reading paragraphs from the Supreme Court’s Jan. 17 ruling.

Devas had initiated arbitration against the cancellation with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Sitharaman said the trade terminal award totaled $1 billion, while India was awarded $93.3 million plus costs and interest in the arbitration filed. under the India-Germany BIT. In addition, $111.2 million plus costs and interest was awarded in the arbitration under the India-Mauritius BIT.

Its shareholders are suing Indian assets overseas to recoup rewards and won a French court order to freeze Indian properties in Paris and obtained partial rights to funds maintained by Air India in Canada. The court issued a full verdict upholding the insolvency court-ordered liquidation of Devas, it said, adding that it would be cited in international courts to challenge the private company’s enforcement actions. “No country that upholds the rule of law will ignore these facts,” she said.

Liquidation process

Government officials have said that the liquidation process of DEVAS, which will entail the seizure of assets including fixed deposits etc., has already started with an authorization given on Tuesday, i.e. January 18, and a liquidator already in place. “Legal advice for the use of Section 339 of the Companies Act will be sought. This provision provides for the seizure of personal property of persons engaged in decision-making,” an official said, while explaining that seizure can be made of personal property located here or abroad.

Section 339 of the Companies Act 2013 deals with liability for fraudulent conduct of business. It says: “If during the course of the liquidation of a company it appears that any activity of the company has been carried on with the intent to defraud the creditors of the company or any other person or for fraudulent purposes, the Court , on the request of the official liquidator, or the liquidator of the company or any creditor or contributor to the company, may, if he sees fit, declare that any person, who is or has been a director, manager or officer of the company or any person who was knowingly a party to the operation of the business in the aforesaid manner shall be personally liable, without any limitation of liability, for all or any part of the debts or other liabilities of the company as the court may order.”

Published on

January 18, 2022

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