Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed all stakeholders in the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) to place before it the renegotiation report with regards to reopening of the old HAL airport, which was closed to commercial services in conjunction with the inauguration of BIAL on 23 May 2008.
A division bench of the court, headed by Justice KL Manjunath, has posted the matter to 17 August for further hearing. The special bench has been constituted to hear a batch of cases which have challenged the closure of the old HAL airport.
Last year, even though the court refused to stay the notification regarding the HAL airport's closure, it recorded the submission of the Central government counsel that the old airport could be reopened after a process of renegotiation if the parties agreed.
The Centre sought 12 weeks time for that exercise.
On 16 April 2008, after refusing to make any interim order on the closure of HAL airport, the court had directed the Union and state governments and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to immediately renegotiate with BIAL regarding two key aspects suggested by a report of parliamentary standing committee on transport, tourism and culture.
"BIAL had raised funds based on terms and conditions in the concessional agreement. We are not in favour of restraining the respondent governments from honouring and giving effect to concessional agreement. But, keeping in mind the larger public interest and minimizing the hardship, the renegotiation may be held as far as the user development fee and also retaining of the HAL airport, the suggestions put forth by the committee", a division bench headed by chief justice Cyriac Joseph had observed in its 14-page interim order.