KATHMANDU, July 30: A divided bench of the Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday stayed the government´s bid to hand over the management of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to an Indian Company, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS).
While Justices Sushila Karki and Tarak Raj Bhatta issued an interim order, Justice Ram Kumar Prasad Shah disagreed with them and passed dissenting opinion.
The interim order stated that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Investment Board was found awarding the IL&FS for upgrading, operating and maintaining the TIA without calling open bidding saying that the move is against the Investment Board Act, 2012. According to the article 7 (a) of the Investment Board Act, 2012, competitive system in investment is mandatory.
The CEO of the Investment Board on June 3 had written letter to his IL&FS counterpart regarding their preparation to award the project.
Justice Shah argued that it was not necessary to issue an interim order as demanded in the writ petition stating that it would not affect the nation, nationality and mass peoples.
Shah has also argued that the writ petition did not mention about the procedure and work area in the agreement between the government and the Indian firm.
Similarly, he argued that there was no need to issue an interim order as the defender said the government had not signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Earlier, the SC on July 12 had ordered the government to furnish detailed project report (DPR) of the latter´s bid to hand over the management of TIA to IL&FS.
Advocate Shree Prasad Pandit, Bhupal Basnet and Krishna Prasad Bhattarai on July 4 had filed writ petition in the apex court demanding the annulment of the government´s bid to hand over the management of TIA to IL&FS.
The writ petitioners had argued that the government´s bid to hand over upgrading, operating and maintaining the TIA was anti-national saying that it was a sensitive zone concerning the security and strategic interest of the country.
Likewise, they had opined that if the management of the TIA was to carry out under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (Boot) system, a tender must be invited where Nepalese could also take part in the project.