Thiruvananthapuram airport: The Kerala government filed an application in the court a day after an all-party-meeting in Kerala demanded withdrawal of the centre’s move to lease the airport to Adani Enterprises
The Kerala government on Friday approached the Kerala High Court seeking a stay on further proceedings in leasing out Thiruvananthapuram airport to Adani Enterprises. Unless the stay is granted, “it will be put to irreparable injury and hardship”, the state government said in its application challenging the centre’s move to privatise the airport.
The state government filed the application in the court a day after an all-party-meeting in Kerala demanded withdrawal of the centre’s move on Wednesday to lease out the airport to Adani Enterprises.
Last year, the High Court had dismissed the petition challenging the decision, terming it as not maintainable under Article 226 of the Constitution. The state government then filed an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order.
The Supreme Court set aside the judgement of the High Court and the matter was sent back to it for a decision on merit.
Referring to the Supreme Court directive, the state government said, “All further proceedings in relation to grant of lease with regard to operation, management and development of Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises Ltd, is to be stayed pending disposal of the aforementioned writ petition.”
In the online meeting called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to discuss the issue, barring the BJP, all other parties opposed the centre’s decision to lease out airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
The state government has decided to move a resolution in the assembly when it meets for a day on August 24.
Mr Vijayan later wrote a second letter in two days to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, conveying the decision taken at the all-party meeting and requested him to reconsider the move.
Adani Enterprises has won the rights to run six airports – Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati – through the PPP model after a competitive bidding process in February 2019.
Mr Vijayan told the all-party meet that the state government had asked for the management and the operation of the airport with a special purpose vehicle in which it will be the major shareholder.
The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation had taken part in the bidding. The centre has said the state government did not qualify in the bidding process that was carried out in a “transparent manner”.