GMR Maldives row: India backs legal process, contracts on compensation
With a Singapore court clearing Male airport's takeover by the Maldives government, India Thursday made it clear that it would like to see "fulfilment" of all legal processes and adherence to all relevant contracts and agreements regarding compensation in USD 500 million GMR airport project.
"The Maldives government has the power to do what it wants, including expropriating the airport," Sundaresh Menon, the Chief Justice of Singapore, said in court Thursday.
Earlier, the court had suspended the Maldives' government's decision to cancel the contract.
A spokesman for the Maldives president said the government would invite international tenders in about 18 months to continue with the project of the airport modernisation.
The court's ruling has come as a blow to India's efforts to restore the GMR contract, the single largest FDI in India.
Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, said that the ministry as well as the Indian High Commission in Male are studying the judgement and its implications.
He pointed out that there are two issues in the case - the sovereign right of a nation and other legalities of the agreement, which was linked to compensation to GMR and its associates in Malaysia.
He stressed that the latter part has not been "affected or responded" in Thursday's judgement.
"These issues are not affected with judgement or not responded to...Fulfilment of all legal process and requirement is what we want to see in this case and we hope that all relevant contracts and agreements would be adhered to and all legal process are carried through," he said.
Amid the diplomatic spat over the unilateral cancellation of the GMR contract, India has appointed Rajeev Shahare as the new High Commissioner to the Maldives replacing incumbent D. M. Mulay.
Shahare is presently joint secretary in the West Asia North Africa (WANA) division in the Ministry of External Affairs. His appointment comes at a time when bilateral ties have dived to an all-time low over the termination of the contract awarded to the GMR-led consortium for the modernisation of the Male International Airport.
Mulay has been appointed as India's Consul General in New York. He will be assuming charge in March 2013, sources said.
India had made it clear to the Maldives that no arbitrary or coercive measure should be taken in the GMR case pending the outcome of the legal proceedings and underlined that any such action would inevitably have adverse consequences for bilateral relations.