Kerala moves SC against leasing airport to Adani

Kerala moves SC against leasing Thiruvananthapuram Airport to Adani group

Kerala govt alleges the condition of requiring experience in airport management was removed for the tender to lease Thiruvananthapuram Airport

Credit: PTI file photo.

The Kerala government has approached the Supreme Court against the Centre’s move to lease out the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to Adani Enterprises.

The Kerala High Court had last month dismissed all petitions, including one by the state government, challenging the Centre’s decision to hand over Adani group the operations of the international airport, which was one of the six for which the Adani group won a lease.

In its plea, the state government sought stay on the High Court order.

The state government, in its plea, said the High Court failed to appreciate that the process of tender was vitiated for many reasons and one of the pre-qualification conditions was that the tenderer should have previous experience in airport management.

“Instead, the previous practice of providing previous experience in Airport management as a prequalification was deliberately deleted from the RFP related to Thiruvananthapuram Airport. This is done with a deliberate attempt to avoid the state government, which is having previous experience," it said.

The airport has around 335 acres of land including the land given by the state government. From 2000 onwards, the state acquired land and gave it free of cost to AAI (Airport Authority of India) on the expectation that the value of land would be converted into equity of the state government in the event of airport being structured into a company or an SPV set up to manage the airport, it said.