The Union Government informed the Kerala High Court that leasing out the operations of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to the Adani Group was a policy decision. The Centre was responding to the petition filed by the Kerala Government against the move to privatise the airport by leasing out the operations to the Adani Group for 50 years.
The Centre stressed that the move to lease out six airports, including Thiruvanathapuram, through public-private partnership (PPP) was a policy decision which could not be questioned by the petitioner. The legal power to decide on the matters of contention between the Central and state governments lies with the Supreme Court and hence the petition would be quashed, the Centre noted.
Santosh Kumar Singh, Under Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, filed the affidavit for the Centre and Mercy Gabriel, Under Secretary, Motor Vehicles Department, represented the Government of Kerala.
Bench recuses from hearing
The Division Bench of Justices K. Vinod Chandran and T.R. Ravi recuses itself from hearing the petition questioning the handover of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to the Adani Group. The Bench decided to recuse itself from the case after one of the lawyers who represented one of the parties turned out to be a senior advocate of Justice T.T. Ravi. The petition filed by the Kerala Government and KSDC will now come up for hearing before another Division Bench.