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‘Fraud against country’: FM Sitharaman slams UPA over Antrix-Devas deal

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the erstwhile UPA government over the Antix Devas issue, after Supreme Court’s order on Monday upholding the liquidation.

Calling the agreement a “fraud against India”, Sitharaman said that it took six years to the UPA government to cancel the deal between Antrix and Devas Multimedia.

“Even when they (UPA government) cancelled, it showed glimpses that the agreement was completely wrong against national security and fraud against the country,” Sitharaman said while addressing a press conference.

“Antrix appeared in agreement with Devas in 2005 during the UPA government. It was a fraud deal. Fraud on people of India. Fraud against the country,” she said.

The FM said Supreme Court order shows how the UPA government indulged in wrong practices. “The Antrix-Devas deal was against national security. It should be the Congress party’s turn to tell how this kind of fraud was perpetrated on people of India,” she added.

Sitharaman further slammed the Congress for not invoking the national security clause.

“This kind of selling of primary endowments like wavelengths, satellites or spectrum band, giving it away to private parties and making money from private parties & making a deal out if it marks the feature of the Congress govts,” Nirmala Sitharaman said on the Devas-Antrix issue.

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the winding up of Devas Multimedia saying,” it is a case of fraud of a huge magnitude which cannot be brushed under the carpet, as a private list”. A bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian dismissed the appeal filed by Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd and said when two forums namely NCLT and NCLAT have recorded concurrent findings on facts, it is not open to this Court to reappreciate evidence.

It is to be recalled that National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) had upheld an earlier order of the Bengaluru bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which had on May 25, 2021, directed the winding up of Devas Multimedia and appointed a provisional liquidator for the purpose. Asianet Newsable

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