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Kerala High Court rejects state’s plea against lease of Airport to Adani group.

The order clears the plans of Adani Enterprises to operate the airport for which the company had won rights in an auction in August.

The Kerala HC on Monday rejected all petitions, including one by the state government, against the Centre’s decision to hand over to Adani Enterprises Ltd the operations of the international airport at Thiruvananthapuram.

The order clears the plans of Adani Enterprises to operate the airport for which the company had won rights in an auction in August.

The state government argued that the 50-year contract to run the airport is not in public interest. It said the airport is currently situated in prime land owned by it, which makes a state government-floated Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for airport management entitled to a preferential idea over Adani Enterprises as per Section 12A of Airports Authority of India (AAI) Act, 1994.

However, the high court rejected its argument. The state government is likely to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court, according to people privy with the talks in the state.

The state government was a given first priority in the bidding processed by the AAI, to the extent that if the bid value came within the 10% range of the winning bid, it would be awarded the work. But there was a difference of 19.64% between the bid by the state government and the winning bid by Adani Enterprises.

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