Udayavni Special

K’taka HC reserves judgement on plea challenging handing over Mangaluru airport to Adani


Team Udayavani, Sep 2, 2021, 11:22 AM IST

Mangaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a petition filed against the government’s decision to hand over the operations of Mangaluru international airport to Adani Enterprises.

The petition was filed by the Airports Authority Employees Union seeking the Court to quash the Cabinet decision in 2019 approving the bid of Adani Enterprises Limited for three airports including Mangaluru.

Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Ashok HaranahallI pointed out that there is no revenue sharing with the government, the entire fixation of the lease is on per passenger fee. Even the revenue derived from leasing airport space is not shared with the government.

He further said that runways and taxiways and aircraft rescue fire buildings are also leased out. These are part of air traffic service, they could not have been leased at all.

Although it is called a Public-Private partnership project, there is no revenue generated for the formulation of PPP partnership. The airport is given to a third party, which is not in consonance with the policy of the Public-Private Partnership model, he argued.

Opposing the petition Additional Solicitor General M B Nargund appearing for the Union government raised the question of maintainability.

He argued that the government thought that in order to generate funds for the new establishment of secondary and tertiary airports, every time it is practically difficult for the government to allot funds, instead of that a system has been developed, wherein the money which is generated from here (leasing of the airports), AAI will use this particular money for purpose of creating new airports.

He further said the object is not only to develop Mangalore and Mumbai airports but even for the development of airports in Gulbarga, Bidar etc these funds will be diverted. Taking this holistic approach a scheme has been brought into force.

The present petition was filed before the Karnataka High Court when the matter was pending for judgement before the Kerala High Court, he said and pleaded that the petition be dismissed.

After hearing the arguments, the division bench of the HC presided over by acting Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, Satishchandra Sharma on Wednesday September 1, reserved its orders.

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