Devas Secures Right to Pursue US Enforcement of Arbitration Award

Devas Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. won an important procedural victory in its efforts to enforce a 2015 ICC award against Indian space marketing company Antrix Corporation Limited (the marketing arm of the Indian Department of Space). 

In 2015, Devas, a satellite and telecommunications company, won a New Delhi-seated ICC arbitration against Antrix, with the tribunal finding that Antrix had repudiated a long-term satellite lease contract. The ICC tribunal's award totals in excess of $562 million (plus interest). In 2018, Devas brought proceedings to confirm the ICC award in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (in Seattle). In response, Antrix claimed that the proceedings should be dismissed on grounds of sovereign immunity, lack of personal jurisdiction and/or forum non conveniens.  In the alternative, Antrix sought a stay of enforcement, pending the resolution of proceedings in the courts of India (where Antrix is trying to set aside the ICC award).  

On April 16, 2019, Judge Thomas S. Zilly denied Antrix’s motion to dismiss, rejecting each of Antrix's jurisdictional defenses and holding that, because Antrix was subject to the "control" of the government of India, it was precluded as a matter of law from claiming the protection of the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court also rejected the forum non conveniens defense, holding that Devas "has no adequate alternative forum in which to execute on property Antrix may own in the United States."