GMR row: India urges 'fulfilment' of legal processes - The New Indian Express

GMR row: India urges 'fulfilment' of legal processes

Published: 07th December 2012 10:22 AM

Last Updated: 07th December 2012 10:22 AM

After the Singapore Supreme Court upheld the Maldives Government’s plea to wrest control of the Male airport, India on Thursday reiterated that it wanted “fulfilment” of all legal processes in the dispute with the Hyderabad-based GMR infrastructure over the termination of its 25-year contract to operate and develop the airport.

Earlier on Thursday, the Singapore Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the Maldives Government plea against the stay on its cancellation of the concession agreement and evicting GMR from Friday midnight.

“The Maldives Government has the power to do what it wants, including expropriating the airport,” declared Chief Justice of Singapore, Sundaresh Menon.

Prior to this, shortly after a Singapore court granted a stay, New Delhi had warned Male against taking any “coercive measures” which could attract “adverse consequences”. The airport project was the largest foreign investment in Maldives at $511 million and it was signed during the tenure of former President Mohamed Nasheed, who was ousted from office.

The Manmohan Singh Government reacted  to Thursday’s judgment rather cautiously, saying that the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) and the Indian mission in Male were still studying the judgment.

But, in his “initial” response, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that there were two main issues--the “sovereign right” of a nation and the legality of the agreement which was linked to the compensation to GMR and its association in Malaysia.

He asserted that that the latter part was not “affected or responded” in the judgment.

“These issues are not affected with judgment or not responded to...fulfilment of all legal processes and requirement is what we want to see in this case and we hope that all relevant contracts and agreements would be adhered to and all legal processes are carried through,” he said.

Effectively, it clears hurdles for the state-owned Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) to take over the running of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport from Saturday.

There are reports from Male that GMR authorities have met government representatives to brief them on the details for a smooth handover, amidst news that some airlines had cancelled their flights for Saturday.   Akbaruddin termed it a “figment of imagination” that a Maldives special envoy had waited 45 days to get an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Maldives Foreign Minister Samad Abdullah on Tuesday had offered to send a special envoy to meet the PM, but Khurshid said that he will be received at an “appropriate level”.

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