Maldives rejects Singapore court order to allow GMR to operate Male Airport

Maldives rejects Singapore court order to allow GMR to operate Male AirportNew Delhi, Dec. 3 : Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed Hassan's advisor Dr. Hassan Saeed has said that the Maldives will not abide with the order passed by a Singapore court to allow Indian infrastructure major GMR the right to operate Male Airport for 25 years.

It maybe recalled that GMR had won the right to operate facilities at Male Airport for 25 years in 2010.

According to a report filed by the web site Haveeru. com, the Maldivian Government has insisted that it would continue with the process of taking over the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) from GMR Group in accordance with the seven day notice given to the Indian company despite the Singapore High Court''s stay order on the eviction notice.

The country's Defence Minister, Mohamed Nazim, told media that the Singapore High Court's ruling had no bearing on the government's decision to annul the 25 year contract with GMR.

"Our lawyers are acting in Singapore and their legal opinion is that the Singapore High Court's order does not prevent the government from taking back the airport," Nazim said.

According to the BBC, the Singapore High Court had overturned the cancellation by Maldives of a 500 million dollars (312 million pounds) contract with an Indian firm GMR to manage Male Airport.

The decision means the firm, GMR, can now continue to operate the Ibrahim Nassir International Airport as per the original agreement.

GMR and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad won a joint contract in 2010 to operate the airport for 25 years.

Last week, the authorities in Male suddenly cancelled the agreement.

"This is the final judgement and means that GMR can now continue to operate the Male airport," Arun Bhagat of GMR was quoted, as saying earlier.

Last week, the Government in Male said it was advised by unnamed British and Singaporean lawyers to cancel the agreement with GMR, which was signed during the tenure of former president Mohamed Nasheed.

India said the move would send a "very negative signal" to foreign investors.

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%).

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 dollars as airport development fee, which is against the law of the land. (ANI)

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