GMR Infrastructure on Monday said that its airport company in Maldives - GMR Male International Airport Pvt Ltd - has won a stay in the High Court of Singapore in its ongoing legal tussle with the Government of Maldives. The High Court of Singapore granted injunctive relief against the applicability and operations of Letter issued by the Ministry of Finance & Treasury, Government of Maldives which cancelled the concession agreement with GMR Infrastructure.
"The High Court upon hearing both the parties was pleased to grant this stay in favor of GMIAL (consortium of GMR-MAHB). Both MACL and MoFT, pursuant to the notice issued on 27th Nov 2012 either directly or indirectly, are not allowed to interfere with the rights of the Investor (GMR-MAHB consortium) under the concession agreement," a statement from GMR said. It may be recalled that on November 27, 2012, the Government of Maldives has ordered that GMR-led consortium should hand over the airport back to Maldives Government by December 7 as some of the contract terms were illegal and the contract was signed in a non-transparent manner. The main contention from the Government of Maldives was that GMR was levying $25 as airport development fee, which is against the law of the land.
With this stay order, GMIAL shall continue to operate the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport as usual as per the provisions of the Concession Agreement. It may be recalled that GMIAL, a consortium of GMR- MAHB (Malaysian Airports) won the bid to operate and modernize Ibrahim Nasir International Airport post a successfully run International competitive bidding conducted by IFC, an arm of the
World Bank. GMR Male’ International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (GMIAL) is a joint venture company comprising GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL) (77%) and Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) ( 23%). In 2010, GMIAL won the right to build and operate the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) for 25 years, which is extendable by another 10 years. The plan envisages to develop a 0.6 million sq feet integrated passenger terminal increasing the terminal capacity to handle 5.5 mn passengers pa and a (20,000 sq feet) VIP terminal, apart from landside development and improving existing terminal, to enhance passenger comfort and services. Situated on Hulhule Island in the Maldives at the South western tip of India, INIA is one of the fastest growing airports in the region.