Kerala moves SC after Adani gets Trivandrum Airport lease deal

Mumbai | Updated on February 20, 2020 Published on February 20, 2020

The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court to challenge the Airport Authority of India’s (AAI) decision of leasing the Trivandrum Airport to Adani Enterprises for 50 years, Hindustan Times reported.

The bidding took place in February last year, when the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) and Adani Enterprises were pitted against each other. The deal was won by Adani Enterprises. as they quoted the highest price.

Kerala urged the AAI to give KSIDC a month’s time to raise funds equivalent to Adani’s quotation. The State Government also pointed out that it deserved preferential consideration since it had the experience of running airports, HT reported.

According to the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the Centre has to ask the state government under a 2003 assurance before involving a private player in the bid.

Kerala contended that the AAI granted the right to operate, manage, and develop Trivandrum International Airport to a private party having no experience in managing airports. The Government also believes that the move is against the public interest.

The petition stated that the decision of the AAI is against the proprietary rights as the land belongs to the state. The land was allotted to the AAI by the State Government and the erstwhile Travancore state from time to time free of cost, HT report revealed.

The government earlier approached the Kerala High Court which dismissed the plea adding that it is a dispute between the Centre and the State, and can only be decided by SC under Article 131 of the Constitution.

The Kerala government has disputed this reasoning of the High Court on the ground that Article 131 does not apply to this case due to the involvement of a private party, HT report added.

Published on February 20, 2020
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