For ‘wrongful termination’ of its 25-year contract

Indian infrastructure major GMR has sought a compensation of $1.4 billion from Maldives for the “wrongful termination” of its 25-year contract to develop and operate the Male International Airport.

The claim was filed before an Arbitration Court here on Friday, and a final order

in the matter is likely to come out by the end of March next year.

According to sources, the papers for the claim run into 75 pages besides various annexures and attachments.

The figure of $1.4 billion was reached after taking into account loss of profit, payments made to sub-contractors besides others.

Sources said the arbitration process would go on, and the Maldivian government, along with the Maldivian Airport Company Limited, both parties in the suit, would give their responses.

The over $500 million airport project contract awarded to GMR for modernising and operating the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), signed in 2010 during the previous regime of Mohamed Nasheed, was “unilaterally” terminated by the present government on November 27 last year.

The airport was taken over by the Maldives Airports Company Limited after a high-voltage legal tussle in which GMR had initially got a stay order on the termination from the Singapore High Court.

However, the Singapore Supreme Court ruled, on November 6, a day before the notice period expired, that Maldives had the power to take over the airport on November 6.

Earlier this week, Maldives’ anti-graft watchdog had ruled out any corruption in the leasing of the international airport to GMR. However, the government had said, “The report does not change the government stand that the contract given by former President Mohamed Nasheed was illegal.

“The contract was not terminated on the ground that there was corruption but because it was done against the law of the land”.

More In: Industry | Business