Chennai, Feb 7 (ANI): Corporate Affairs Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily on Tuesday defended Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the Antrix-Devas deal issue, and said that the latter never wanted to hide anything and had acted promptly.
Moily said that in his previous capacity as Law Minister, he had been witness to prompt action by Singh's office when the controversy over the deal came to light.
"No motive can be attributed to the Prime Minister, because no sooner did it come to the notice of the Prime Minister, he did not take even a second's time to cancel it. I was the Law Minister. Law ministry gave the opinion that it can be cancelled, and it was cancelled promptly," Moily told mediapersons here.
"No sooner did the Law Ministry give an opinion, the Prime Minister did not take even one minute's time to cancel it. This shows how transparent he is," he added.
The Devas deal signed by ISRO's commercial arm Antrix to lease out 90 per cent of transponders in the S-band frequency on two ISRO satellites was annulled by the government in February 2011.
A two-member committee featuring former cabinet secretary B N Chaturvedi and Space Commission member Roddam Narasimha analysed the deal and found procedural lapses by ISRO officials in the signing of the agreement and sought reforms to prevent future lapses.
A second committee headed by former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha, set up after the Chaturvedi report to fix responsibility for the lapses, said that there was suspicion of collusion of officials and lack of transparency in the deal and recommended action against former ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair, and three other retired space scientists A Bhaskaranarayana, K R Sridhara Murthi and K N Shankara. (ANI)
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