Devas a Bangalore based company, majority owned by Mauritian and US firms, was purportedly established by two persons, one being a former employee of ISRO, with a share capital of INR 1,00,000 to pursue digital multimedia services.
Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Devas entered into an agreement by which Antrix agreed to build, operate, and launch two satellites and lease spectrum capacity on those satellites to Devas. Devas had to utilise this bandwidth to provide multimedia services across India.
However, the agreement was terminated by Antrix, invoking force majeure, due to changes in policy decisions. A legal battle between the parties ensued in which, on September 14, 2014, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) rendered an award in favour of Devas, directing Antrix to pay damages of around US$562.5 million along with interest.
However, Antrix challenged the award before the Delhi High Court on the ground that the contract from which the arbitral award arose was wholly vitiated due to acts of corruption, fraud and criminality committed by the erstwhile management of Antrix and Devas.