Air India gets the approval of an Appeals Court in Quebec to challenge the order by the Canadian Court that allowed Devas Multimedia to seize its funds as compensation for a failed 2005 satellite deal with Antrix Corporation, the commercial wing of ISRO.
Judge Christine Baudouin agreed to Air India’s claim that the Court should take a closer look at the argument of the German Major Deutsche Telekom and three Mauritius investors about identifying the airline as an alternative to the India Government and facilitate its assets as compensation over a failed deal with the government of India.
The three Mauritius investors -- Devas (Mauritius) Ltd, Telecom Devas Mauritius Ltd and Devas Employees Mauritius Pvt Ltd – were targeting the government assets abroad to recover USD 1.3 billion compensation they won in three different arbitrations over the deal with Antrix Corporation. Three Courts – a French Court, a Superior Court in Quebec, and a Trade association based in Montreal – were ordered in favour of Devas Multimedia for seizing the assets.
In the argument at Appeals Court in Quebec, Air India pointed out that it is no longer an asset of the Government of India after the recent Air India takeover by Talace Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Groups. Hence, the carrier requested to dismiss the plea.
Among the shareholders, the Mauritius investors held a 37% stake, and Deutsche Telekom had a 20% stake (in 2011) in Devas Multimedia, the Bengaluru-headquartered company when the Indian government decided to cancel the Devas-Antrix deal.
The government cancelled the deal in February 2011, which leased two communication satellites for 12 years for Rs 167 crore to Devas Multimedia, citing possible irregularities in spectrum allocations, and the requirement of the S-band spectrum for security purposes of the country.
Ministry of Home Affairs to Verify Air India’s New CEO
Meanwhile, Air India recently appointed Ilker Ayci, a Turkish aviation veteran, as the CEO and MD of the airline. The Ministry of Home Affairs will conduct a background check of Ayci as a part of the regular procedure. Home Ministry carries out a background check of all international citizens who are appointed in key positions of any Indian company.