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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

'Will take all 'legal remedies' to protect Male contract'

PTI  New Delhi, December 04, 2012
First Published: 10:24 IST(4/12/2012) | Last Updated: 10:38 IST(4/12/2012)

Stating that GMR Infrastructure has not invested in Maldives "to be compensated", the company has said it will take all "legal remedies" to protect its $511 million airport contract in the island nation.

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"It's not a question of compensation. We did not come here for compensation. We came here because we competed competitively in an international tender and we won that bid," CEO of GMR Male International Airport Andrew Harrison said.

He added that the Maldives government, which had given a sovereign guarantee, did not follow the terms of the agreement, which has laid down a proper procedure to be followed even in the case of terminating the contract.

When asked whether GMR would move to the International Court of Justice in case of a forceful take over of the Male airport by the Maldivian government, he said: "We will follow every single legal remedy that is available to us. We will ensure that our rights are protected. There are international laws that has to be followed by the countries."

Yesterday, GMR had secured a stay from the Singapore high court against the Maldives government notice of November 27, through which its contract was terminated and the company was asked to handover the airport within seven days.

Immediately after the Singapore high court verdict, Maldives made it clear that its termination decision was "non -reversible and non-negotiable" and said no such injunction can be issued against a sovereign state.

"The government's decision is very clear. It is non-reversible and non-negotiable. Our decision was based on legal advice we got from our lawyers in the UK and Singapore," Maldives President Mohamed Waheed's press secretary Masood Imad said in Male.

However, the GMR CEO said that terms of termination, that is part of the 25-year concession agreement signed by a GMR-led consortium, Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) and government of Maldives for running the Male airport, have not been followed by the local government.

According to him, in case of termination or contract getting void, the Maldives government will ensure that investment of Axis Bank, the lenders of GMR for the project, would be protected and a notice of 60 days will be given.

Besides, the compensation will be paid within 60 days and before the control of the airport is given to any one else, he said while elaborating the termination clauses of the agreement.

"60 days notice period has not been given (by the Maldives government) and Axis Bank has not been paid any of its outstanding money. Separate to that, the concession agreement also specifies a formula to be calculated in the event of termination and what is to be paid to us. None of that has taken place," he said.


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