New Delhi: A Delhi trial court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) about the delay in filing a chargesheet in a probe into a deal between Antrix, Indian Space Research Organization’s (Isro) commercial arm, and Devas Multimedia Ltd.

The CBI filed its chargesheet accusing former Isro chief Madhavan Nair and others of causing a wrongful gain of 578 crore to Devas Multimedia on 11 August. According to information available on the court’s website, the first information report was filed last year.

The deal to provide Devas with means to deliver videos, multimedia content and information services to mobile phones using S-Band through GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A satellites by Antrix was in-principle agreed to in 2005.

Also Read: Antrix-Devas deal: CBI names ex-ISRO chief Madhavan Nair in chargesheet

“Why has it taken so long to come forward? What will a public servant do? How long will they be required to respond (after retirement)?," Vinod Kumar, special judge (CBI court) asked the CBI, inquiring into the delay.

The CBI sought a month’s time from the court to procure the requisite sanctions from the Central government under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in order to proceed with the prosecution of Nair and others.

Section 197 of the CrPC mandates that a trial court will receive sanctions from the Union government before taking cognizance of the offences alleged against government officials.

The court heeded to the CBI’s plea, and will now hear the case on 29 September.

The chargesheet in the case was filed shortly after Antrix lost the arbitration case against Devas in the permanent court of arbitration.

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