HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today issued a stay order against the government preparation to hand over the upgradation, improvement and management of the Tribhuwan International Airport to an Indian company without floating a tender.
Though presiding judge Ram Kumar Prasad Shah of a three-member special bench that has been hearing the case wrote a dissenting opinion against the stay order, Justices Sushila Karki and Tarka Raj Bhatta issued the order on majority basis.
Stating that the letter of the Nepal Investment Board to the Indian Company, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services was against the process of the law, the apex court directed the government authorities -- the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Nepal Investment Board-- not to implement the letter issued on March 6 to the company.
The judges also observed that the government has already delegated the authority to the Nepal Investment Board for upgradation, improvement and management of Nepal's only international airport.
Justice Shah was against apex court intervention, stating that the letter of the Nepal Investment Board has no legal status and the written explanation of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to the Supreme Court stated that the government was yet to take a decision on the matter. He stated the petitioners, in any case, had the right to challenge SC situation.
Challenging the letter of Nepal Investment Board and government's preparation to handover the job to the Indian firm was against the sovereignty of the nation, advocates Sreeprasad Pundit, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Bhupal Basnet had filed the Public Interest Litigation. The petitioner also claimed that the government took the decision to hand over the upgradation, improvement and management of the airport to the IL&FS without floating a tender.