Airport rejig: HC declines stay with a rider

Delhi HC has refused to grant any interim stay on the reported transfer of equity and signing of deals between AAI and private parties for modernisation.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 01:34 IST

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any interim stay on the reported transfer of equity and signing of agreements between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the private parties for modernisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports.

A division bench of Justice Thirath Thakur and Justice BN Chaturvedi ruled any such agreements between the AAI and the private parties would be subject to the final verdict of the court on the tender dispute.

Today's ruling by the court only partly satisfiesthe plea of the Anil Ambani owned Reliance Airport Developers which had pleaded for a stay on any such move by the government until the tender dispute was finally adjudicated.

Reliance had sought the interim stay on the ground the rival bidders would raise the bogey of the equity being already transferred in the event of the court's final verdict going against the latter's interest.

However, the AAI, GMR-Fraport and the GVK Industries have given an undertaking that agreements reached by the parties during the interregnum period would be subject to the final order of the court on the tender dispute.

Significantly, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam appearing for the Union Government today admitted the Centre did not have any "definite conceptual plan" for modernisation of the two airports but only certain broad guidelines were evolved for developing it on the lines of various international airports.

His admission came in response to the query of the bench as to whether the Centre had developed any such conceptual plan to which the bidders were expected to conform while pitching their bids.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 00:04 IST