Friday, September 03, 2021

Is Adani’s acquisition of Mangaluru airport illegal? HC to decide


A petition, filed in the Karnataka High Court in February 2021, has challenged the Union government’s decision to hand over the Mangaluru airport to Adani Enterprises Ltd, stating that the privatization of airports is illegal, arbitrary and beyond the scope of the Airport Authority Act, 1994. The petition filed by the Airports Authority Employees Union at the Mangaluru airport has said that handing over the airport is not only “without authority of law but also has a larger impact on the public as well as a large number of employees.” The Karnataka High Court has reserved orders in this petition. TNM takes a look at the main points raised by the employees against the much touted acquisition.

In 2018, the Union government had announced an in-principle approval for leasing out six airports in India —Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram, and Mangaluru Airports through Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Adani Airport Holdings Limited (AAHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd, was the highest bidder, the Union government announced later. AAHL formally took over control and management of the Mangaluru airport in 2020. 

The petition said that at the outset itself, there was no proper examination of the proposal by the Union government, and contrary to the international standards, as well as the normal bidding process, there was no base price fixed. Thus, the bid was beyond the analysis of profit and loss calculations, the plea says.

02/09/21 Sanyukta Dharmadhikari/News Minute

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