|The GMR group, which was forced to quit an airport project in the Maldives late in 2012 following a change of regime there, has won the first round of arbitration proceedings in Singapore over the termination of its contract.|
The arbitration had been initiated in 2012 by the Maldives government, which sought to declare a concession agreement signed by the previous regime with GMR void. The agreement was inked by the two sides for the modernisation and operation of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Male, the Maldives' capital.
The Tribunal, headed by retired British judge Lord Hoffman, said the the Government’s decision to terminate the company's lease was wrongful repudiation of the concession agreement. It has ordered the Maldives Government to pay GMR Male International Airport Ltd. (GMIAL), a GMR group subsidiary, $4 million by way of costs, within 42 days. The concession agreement was valid and binding and was not void, and the collection of airport development charges and insurance surcharge, as allowed in the concession agreement, was lawful under Maldivian law, GMR said, citing the Tribunal.
GMR Male had inked the concession agreement with the Maldives Government and Maldives Airport Company Ltd. (MACL) in 2010.