A full-page ad on Wall Street Journal (WSJ) targeting SC judges and senior govt official has garnered attention. Suddenly what happened that such a prominent portal targeted India & propagate how #India is not a business-friendly country? 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝:

The money of the #ad was paid by a Virginia-based ‘Frontiers of Freedom’ which is run by former Republican member George Landrith who filed a Global Magnitsky Act Petition to U.S. Govt against the top Indian govt officials on August 8, 2022. (2/n)

Between the Magnitsky Act petition & the WSJ front page ad, Landrith initiated #IndiasMagnitsky11 tag on September 22, to target the 11 high-ranking Indian officials, & seek sanctions against them in the US. (3/n)

But this institute was just representing a client - Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd (its founder Ramchandran Vishwanathan), a satellite company founded in Bangalore, India. Devas has a longstanding legal case with the Indian govt the story of which started in 2005 (till present). (4/n)

In 2005, #Devas & #Antrix Corp (ISRO’s commercial wing) signed a deal for leasing 70 MHz of S-band spectrum. However, in 2011 this deal was cancelled by UPA 2.0 govt citing national security issues when 2G scam was highlighted & talked about in India. (5/n)

It is to be noted that Devas had investments from Deutsche Telekom (has 32% equity stake of German Govt) worth $100mn for nearly 20% stake. The cancellation of the deal by the Indian Govt gave impetus to legal battle initiated by Devas & its investors in 2011. (6/n)

The case became more intense over the years across international arbitration tribunals in France, Canada, and USA. In India, chargesheets were filed by CBI and ED over a fraudulent deal b/w Antrix & Devas leading to facilitation of “wrongful gains” worth Rs 578Cr to Devas. (7/n)

Most recently, on Sept 17, 2022 a special court in Bengaluru ordered the issuance of a notice under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act-2018 to Devas Multimedia Pvt Ltd, Ramachandran Viswanathan. (8/n)

Indian Govt has taken a diplomatic stride and now seeking the “Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters” signed with the US to monitor, question & arrest Devas’ founder Ramchandran Vishwanathan for his fraudulent deal. (9/n)

While the case is still ongoing b/w the Indian govt & Devas’ founder Ramchandran Vishwanathan, portals like WSJ are being used to tarnish & challenge India’s image its sovereignty. (10/n)

Earlier, New York Times (NYT) had publicized an ad targeting India, sponsored by Jamaat & MB network. Worth noting that it is also a time when India is charting a foreign policy course at divergence from the US priority. (11/n)

And coincidentally, the US-based media have allowed unhinged political and malicious ads against India on numerous occasions. Must be a coincidence that US media is independent of the US Govt priorities. (12/12)

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