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Airport rejig: SC admits RAD's plea

The plea challenges Delhi HC verdict that upheld Govt's decision to allot work for Delhi and Mumbai airport revamp.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 11:28 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday admitted a petition filed by Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Airport Developers challenging the Delhi HC verdict that upheld the government's decision to allot Delhi and Mumbai airport modernisation work to rival bidders GMR and GVK-led consortia.

A bench comprising Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and Justice CK Thakkar fixed June one to hear the matter for final disposal.

The bench issued notices to the Centre, the GMR and the GVK directing them to file a reply within two weeks, after which the petitioner Reliance would file the rejoinder.

The court said the various issues including the lowering of standard as well as giving choice in the opening of financial bid for airport modernisation, needed to be examined in detail.

The Reliance had filed a Special Leave Petition against the April 21 verdict, which held that the government's action was in no way "discriminatory, illogical or illegal".

The High Court, on the request of the Reliance counsel, had said the consortia would not claim any equity or implement the contract during the next two weeks so as to enable it to file an appeal in the apex court.

While upholding the technical parameters adopted in awarding the contracts, the High Court had said the government and the AAI had "absolute discretion to vary the tender requirements or amend the term of RFP (Request for Proposal)" as per the requirements of the project.

Reliance has challenged the award of Delhi and Mumbai airport modernisation contracts to GMR and GVK led consortia, on the ground that the government and the AAI had deliberately amended tender norms to favour the rival bidders.

The company contended that as the highest financial bidder for Delhi airport and as the highest technical bidder for the Mumbai airport, it should have been awarded at least one of the projects.

First Published: May 05, 2006 12:35 IST