US Court urged to allow the tracking down of ISRO Antrix assets
Effort to enforce a $1.3 billion arbitral award the court upheld last year
Devas Multimedia's shareholders have urged a United States federal judge to allow them to track down the assets of Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), across the US.
This was an effort to enforce a $1.3 billion arbitral award that the court had upheld last year.
The submission to Judge Thomas S Zilly of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington came, as Antrix does not have any assets in the district. A secondary order allowing them to attach assets of a state-owned entity was also sought.
According to the submission, "Nationwide (across the US) registration was crucial to facilitate interveners' responsibility to execute the judgment in light of Antrix's decade-long refusal to pay a cent for its breach of contract. And that Antrix had continued foot-dragging in the post-judgment discovery."
It added that the interveners also sought an order pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act determining that a reasonable amount of time had elapsed following the court's judgment, without which they would be unable to attach the assets of Antrix.
Meanwhile, the US federal court had ordered the company to furnish information, including documents showing any transfer of assets, money and business contracts from Antrix to NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the recently established commercial space arm of the Department of Space, to Devas' shareholders.
Judge Zilly had ruled that the shareholders of Devas, which includes Devas Multimedia America, Devas Employees Mauritius, Telcom Devas Mauritius and Devas (Mauritius), had a legal right to enforce the arbitral award.
But the petitioners argued, "Antrix's persistent refusal to pay a cent on the judgment and underlying award, coupled with its deficient discovery responses, provide clear reasons justifying nationwide registration."
The information that Antrix furnished showed that it had done business in other jurisdictions also and might have recoverable assets, including bank accounts, the petitioners said.