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GMR group wins right to run Nagpur Airport as SC upholds Bombay HC decision

MIHAN had moved SC following Bombay High Court's refusal to annul the bidding process of Nagpur airport which was won by GMR in 2018

GMR group | Nagpur | airport

Arindam Majumder & Aneesh Phadnis  |  New Delhi/Mumbai 

GMR needs all the muscle it can get to take on an aggressive competitor

will be able to operate the with the Supreme Court upholding the decision refusing to annul the bidding process of the .

MIHAN, a joint venture of Maharashtra Development Company and Airport Authority of India had moved the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court had set aside its decision to cancel the bidding process.

“In view of the discussion made hereinabove, we are of the considered opinion that the findings recorded by the High Court allowing the Writ Petition are in accordance to law. Those findings do not suffer from any illegality, warranting interference by this Court in exercise of the power under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. All these appeals are hereby dismissed,” the Supreme Court said in its order on Monday.

The operates Delhi and Hyderabad airports and is also constructing greenfield airports in Goa and Bhogapuram in Andhra Pradesh. In October 2018 the group emerged as the highest bidder for operation and management of airport for period of thirty years offering 5.7 per cent of its gross revenue to MIHAN

Subsequently, it agreed to share over 14 per cent of gross revenue in post bid negotiations and will hold 74 per cent stake in the project. Following that, Mihan issued a letter of award to GMR in March 2019.

However, in March 2020, the Maharashtra government decided to cancel the tender process and issued a letter annulling the process.

moved the Bombay High Court last year after Mihan cancelled the award. In response to the petition, Mihan argued that it never issued an award letter and March 2020 order only referred to acceptance of bids. Further it said that issue of award would be subject to central government approval which was pending.

“ The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide its judgement today dismissed the SLPs filed by MIHAN India Limited, AAI, Government of Maharashtra and Government of India and upheld the judgement of Hon’ble Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court that had previously quashed and set aside the decision of MIHAN India Limited annulling the bidding process for the Nagpur Airport. Accordingly MIHAN India Limited would be required to execute the Concession Agreement for the Nagpur Airport in favour of GMR,” said advocate Milanka Chaudhury of law firm Link Legal who represented GMR in the case.

As part of its modernisation plan of Nagpur's Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, GMR said that it will increase the ultimate capacity of the airport to around 30 million passengers annually, representing a capacity increase of over 1,000 per cent in a phased manner. Currently, the airport handled a total of about 3 million passengers.

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First Published: Mon, May 09 2022. 21:52 IST