The Singapore high court has given GMR group a reprieve in its ongoing tussle with the Maldives government over the development of Male airport.
The court has dismissed the application filed by Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) seeking vacation of injunctive order granted in favour of GMR Male International Airport Pvt Ltd (GMIAL) on July 23. GMR Infrastructure Ltd holds around 77% stake in GMIAL and Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad the rest.
MACL had on January 5 this year written to GMIAL enforcing restrictions on airport development charge. Following this, the JV sought an arbitration in Singapore. The high court had granted an injunction on this restriction and also restrained MACL from approaching any civil court in the Maldives.
MACL approached the court in October in October to get the injunction vacated.
In the latest order, the court has made the injunction absolute, offering a breather to GMIAL.
With MACL getting restrained from approaching any other forum for relief, the issue would now be decided only through the arbitration process.
In 2010, GMIAL won the right to build and operate the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) for 25 years, extendable by another 10.
However, following the change of guard in the Maldives government, there was a dispute between the government and GMR on various issues related to development of the airport. The government has already suspended work at the new terminal, though GMR has been allowed to operate the existing airport. Even at this airport, the company has been restrained from collecting the airport development charge.