Privatisation of Thiruvananthapuram airport: Blow to Kerala govt

Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala High Court refu­s­ed to stay the privatisation of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, under which the airport is to be leased to the Adani group for a period of 50 years.

The court said it will issue a verdict after detailed hearing and asked the government to submit all the relevant documents before September 9. The detailed hearing would commence on September 15.

Last year, the state government had approached the High Court, seeking stay of the proceedings for the transfer of the airport, but the court rejected the plea on the ground it was too early and therefore premature at that point in time.

The state government then approached the Supreme Court, which asked the High Court to reconsider the government appeal. The government had pleaded the proceedings in the transfer must be stayed pending a verdict on this appeal.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Monday moved a resolution in the state assembly, stating the government cannot agree with the decision to entrust the airp­ort management to the Ada­ni group. The resolution was passed by the House, with both the ruling and the opposition benches voting in its favour.

The CM has also written to the PM expressing the state government’s opposition. The government has also informed the Centre that the state was prepared to offer the same amount quoted by the Adani group, but the offer was turned down.

The resolution pointed out it was the state that successfully ran the Kochi and Kannur airports while the Adanis had no experience in running an airport.

CBI to probe Periya twin murders

The Pinarayi Vijayan govt in Kerala on Tuesday suffered a huge setback when a division bench of the Kerala HC ruled the CBI will probe the case of two Youth Congress workers murdered near Periya in Kasaragod last year. Incidentally it was the Vijayan govt, which brought in high-profile lawyers to defend them, after a single bench of the HC earlier directed a CBI probe, quashing the police charge sheet in the case last year. The govt had come under fire from various quarters after they decided to move the division bench against the single bench verdict. The gruesome murders took place on Feb 17, 2019.

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