The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a plea seeking the cancellation of the Airports Authority of India’s agreement with private operators handling operations and development of international airports in Delhi and Mumbai.
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) handle operations, development and management of the two airports.
Petitioner M.L. Sharma, an advocate, had also sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the agreements.
He referred to a 2011 draft report of the government auditor which pointed to “serious corruption and fraud in transferring the public properties to private companies free of cost, inflicting huge loss to the public/nation amounting to Rs.268,000 crore coupled with further commercial losses”.
An apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice Anil R. Dave, while dismissing the petition as withdrawn, said there was a procedure by which the audit reports after being tabled in parliament were sent to parliament’s Public Accounts Committee where they were scrutinised before being finalised.
The court said these lease deeds were entered into in 2006 and now in 2012 one could not raise objections to them.
Sharma told the court that he was not aware of what had transpired by way of these lease deeds handing over the operation and control of these two airports to DIAL and MIAL till the auditor’s report came out.
As the petitioner sought to make allegations against former civil aviation minister Praful Patel for the losses suffered by the exchequer, the court restrained him by saying that he had not made the former minister a respondent in his petition.