Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday quashed the pleas filed the Kerala state government and others against the leasing out of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to Adani Enterprises Limited. Eight writ petitions were filed against the lease at different points of time over a period of one year.
Observing that privatization is the declared policy of the Central government, the bench comprising justices Vinod Chandran and CS Dias said, "Interference to a policy framed by the elected government is trite, is difficult, and the feeble challenge raised herein against the policy is devoid of merit."
The court rejected the state government's claim of 'legitimate expectation' opining that there was no benefit promised to the government by way of participation in the management of the airport. It also rejected the claim of 'promissory estoppel' as no promise have been extended by the Central government or the Airport Authority of India (AAI).
The court rejected the apprehensions on erosion of profit for the AAI and held that is stands to gain.
The court also noted that the petitions filed Kerala State Industries Development Corporation (KSIDC) and the state government is a classic example of the proverbial 'sour grapes'. It pointed out that the state nominated KSIDC had participated in the bid under the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the AAI and now the parties have turned against the very RFP.