New Delhi: The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government in Kerala on Friday moved the high court seeking a stay on the Union Cabinet’s decision to hand over operations and supervision of Thiruvananthapuram airport through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. Also Read - 'Mother's Body Organs For Sale': Kerala Woman Offers to Sell All Her Organs to Pay Medical Bills of Her Children
Yesterday, Kerala CM Vijayan held an all-party meeting where each of them, barring only the BJP, reached consensus and said they will not allow the privatisation of Trivandrum Airport by leasing it out to the Adani Group. Also Read - Kerala: 2 Migrant Workers Killed in Quarry Explosion in Ernakulam District, Terror Links Suspected
“Unless the stay is granted, it will be put to irreparable injury and hardship,” the state government in its application to the court. The Kerala High Court will hear the petition on Monday. Also Read - NIA Busts Major Terror Module, Arrests 9 Suspected Al-Qaeda Operatives For 'Plotting Attacks on Vital Installations'
Last year, the high court had dismissed the petition challenging the decision, terming it as not maintainable under Article 226 of the Constitution.
The state government then filed an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the high court order but the judgement was set aside and the matter was remanded back to it for a decision on merit.
Referring to the top court directive, the state government said, “all further proceedings in relation to grant of lease with regard to operation, management and development of Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises Ltd, is to be stayed pending disposal of the aforementioned writ petition.”
Following the meeting yesterday, Vijayan wrote a second letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to “intervene” and “reconsider the decision to handover the mgmt & operation of the Airport to a private bidder”.
The chief minister had reached out to PM Modi on Wednesday saying that the transfer of the airport to a private bidder was “against the wishes of the people” of Kerala, citing “repeated requests” of entrusting the same to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the state government.
“The assurance was that as and when induction of a private player is considered, Government of India would factor in the contributions made by the State Government to the development of the Trivandrum Airport,” Vijayan had written in a letter, adding that it was discussed during a personal meeting in Delhi.
In view of the decision, he had said, it would be difficult “offer co-operation to the implementation” of the transfer.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for leasing out airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through the PPP model. These six airports are owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
With PTI inputs