The Foreign Exchange Management Act Adjudication Authority has held Devas Multimedia, its directors, and overseas investors guilty of an illegal foreign investment of Rs 579 crore, and imposed a penalty of Rs 1,585.08 crore based on the Enforcement Directorate’s investigation in the Antrix-Devas case, The Hindu reported on Saturday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had filed its chargesheet in the case in 2016.
The company, which was set up in 2004 by a few former employees of the Indian Space Research Organisation, entered into an agreement with the space agency’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation to get bandwidth facilities in two proposed satellites for a range of services in the digital media and broadcasting business.
“Investigation revealed that an amount of around Rs 579 crore was brought into the company by various foreign companies in violation of the conditions of FIPB approval and provisions of Section 6(3)(b) and 6(3)(d) of FEMA read with Foreign Exchange Management Regulations,” The Indian Express quoted the directorate as saying. “Accordingly, showcause notice under FEMA was issued. After completion of the adjudication proceedings a total penalty of Rs 1,585.08 crore has been imposed on DMPL, the foreign companies (investors), Indian and foreign directors of DMPL.”
Meanwhile, a special court in Bengaluru has taken cognisance of money laundering charges against the former managing director of Antrix Corporation and the executives of Devas Multimedia, The Hindu reported.
Summons have been issued to former Antrix Managing Director Sridhara Murthi, Devas CEO Ramachandran Viswanathan, who is based in the United States, former ISRO employee and Devas Director MG Chandrashekar, Devas CTO Desaraju Venugopal, and Nataraj Dakshinamurthy and Ranganathan Mohan, both of whom are associated with Devas.