HC dismisses Kerala govt’s plea against privatisation of capital airport

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday has rejected the petition of the state government challenging the decision of the Central government to handover the operation, management and development of the Thiruvananthapuram International airport to the Adani Enterprises Limited.
The Bench of Justices S Manikumar and AM Shaffique observed that the writ petition was premature and not maintainable under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.

The Court has also maintained that only the Supreme Court can decide on the question of whether the state government can challenge the decision of the Union government under Article 131 of the Indian constitution.

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The state government in its petition had said that the attempt by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to handover the operations, maintenance and the development of the capital airport was against the provisions of the Airport Authority of India Act and proprietary rights of the state government over the land where the airport is situated.

The state had also claimed that the Centre had assured the state in 2003 that considering the fact that the land acquisition and ownership lies with the state government, the latter will be considered before privatising the operations of the airport. The state had also expressed its interest in taking over the functioning of the airport and had even created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to this effect.

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