Source – thehindu.com
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed a writ petition filed by the State Government on Wednesday challenging the move by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to grant right of operation, management, and development of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises Limited.
The Bench of Justice S. Manikumar and Justice A.M.Shaffique observed that the writ petition was premature and not maintainable under Article 226 of the Constitution.
The court added that the question whether the State Government had the legal right to challenge a policy decision of the Central Government was a matter to be decided by the Supreme Court under Article 131 of the Constitution.
In its petition, the Government said the attempt of the AAI to grant right of operation, management, and development of the airport to Adani Enterprises Limited was not in public interest and violated the provisions of the Airports Authority of India Act as well as the proprietary right of the State Government over the land where the airport was situated.
The petition pointed out that the Centre had assured the State in 2003 that taking into account the contribution being made by the State for acquisition of additional land for the airport, the Government would be consulted at the time when a decision to privatise the management of the airport was taken. This assurance had been violated.
The Central Government also declined the request of the State to transfer the operation of the airport to the Government, which could form a special purpose vehicle and tie up with a partner proven in the management of the airport, the government petition alleged.