The legal conflict between IIT-J and DataWind, the Canadian company which was entrusted with the task of manufacturing and supplying the tablet Aakash-I, has become more serious with DataWind deciding to drag officials of the institute to a court in New York.
After locking horns on the issue Rs. 50 lakh bank guarantee with IIT-J, now DataWind has issued a notice informing about filing a suit in a New York court against an assistant professor and an assistant project director of the institute, who were involved in the Aakash project.
In response to the notice, IIT-J has filed an anti-suit injunction in the ADM court in Jodhpur seeking restraint on DataWind from filing the suit. The ADJ court has issued notice to the DataWind and has sought reply by 24 July, the next date of hearing.
Sanjeet Purohit, counsel of IIT-J, said his client had sought damages from DataWind for the defamation that IIT-J has been subjected to in the backdrop of the Aakash-I project fiasco. Instead of replying to that notice, DataWind issued a counter-notice to the IIT-J informing about filing a suit in New York.
The IIT-J in its petition, has sought a symbolic compensation of Rs 2 lakh from DataWind, arguing that the company has caused immense dent to the goodwill of the institution at a global level and that its prestige has received a setback.
As per the agreement between the IIT-J and DataWind on April 4, 2011, DataWind had to make delivery of one lakh units of Aakash-I to the IIT-J by November 28, 2011 starting from the first lot of 1,000 units on August 5, 2011. IIT-J, however, claimed that DataWind supplied only 6,440 devices by November 1, 2011 and what’s more, about 40% of these units failed on every parameter mutually agreed upon. This tablet was to be provided to the students at a cost of US $35 with 50% subsidy by the HRD ministry.