Delhi High Court adjourns Reliance's challenge on airports modernisation contract

Justices Mr TS Thakur and Sanjiv Khanna asked the government to file its reply to the petition by Saturday, February 11.The bench also said that it would take up the matter on Monday, February 13 for final disposal at the admission stage at 2 pm. The bench also declined to issue notice in the matter.

On February 2, Reliance Airport Developers, controlled by Anil Ambani, had filed the suit urging that the government withdraw, cancel or set aside the evaluation process that awarded the airport modernisation contracts to GMR-Fraport for the Delhi airport and to GVK-AKSA for the Mumbai airport

Reliance Airport Developers, which had tied up with ASA Mexico to bid for the contract to modernise Delhi airport here, had lost out to Hyderabad-based GMR-Fraport (Frankfurt airport) consortium, on technical re-evaluation by the Sridharan committee, appointed by the government to examine the selection of those short listed for the projects.

Reliance then moved the Delhi High Court to challenge what it called the last-minute changes in the tender conditions. In its petition, the company accused the government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) of favouritism and alleged that the government had illegally changed the terms and parameters of evaluation and the award of tenders hours before the final stages without reason or notice.

Pointing out that it was the highest financial bidder, having offered a revenue share of 45.99 per cent to the AAI as against GMR-Freeport's 43.64 per cent, (subsequently increased to to 45.99 per cent) the petition urged the court to strike down the award of the contracts.