Even as the Enforcement Directorate is investigating the financial transactions of Devas Multimedia in connection with its controversial S-band spectrum deal with Antrix, commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the company's chairman stepped down on Friday.
A press release from Devas said M.G. Chandrasekhar had submitted his resignation and stepped down as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, although he would continue to serve as a Director.
“The Board, with regret, has accepted Dr. Chandrasekhar's resignation and noted its appreciation for the able leadership rendered during his tenure as Chairman,” the statement said.
Dr. Chandrasekhar will be replaced by Lawrence T. Babbio, former Vice Chairman and President of U.S. telecommunications operator Verizon. Mr. Babbio is a senior adviser to Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm that has invested more than $40 billion, including in Bharti Televentures.
Under the Antrix-Devas contract signed in 2005, ISRO was to build two satellites GSat 6 and 6A for the Bangalore-based company, which would have been allowed the use of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum over a 20-year period. The Centre scrapped the deal in February 2011, following an investigation into irregularities in the agreement that was allegedly signed without a competitive bidding process.