The Singapore High Court today stayed the Maldives Government's decision to terminate the contract for the airport.
The case was heard in Singapore because the contract states that in case of differences between the main stakeholders, the law of either Singapore or the UK would apply.
Asked if GMR will continue to operate the airport, a company official told the Press Trust of India, "We will. The arbitration process will continue on the side.” GMR sources told NDTV that they will continue airport operations at Male unless the Maldives government moves in with force. The company will continue to seek legal options, the sources added.
Sources in the office of Maldives President Mohamed Waheed told NDTV that the judge was incorrect in interpreting the law and the government's decision is non-reversible and non-negotiable. A court cannot issue such an injunction against a sovereign state, the sources added.
Last week, on November 27, the new Maldives government gave seven days to Indian infrastructure company GMR to leave after prematurely ending a 25-year management lease signed for the archipelago's main international airport.
The decision angered New Delhi and raised concerns about the investor climate at a time when the Maldives is seeking foreign financing for tourism projects after a year of political turmoil. India had described the cancellation of the contract as a "very negative signal" to foreign investors.
Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure had signed the deal to manage the airport in 2010 under former President Mohamed Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected leader who was ousted after violent protests in February this year.
Nasheed's deputy, Mohamed Waheed, assumed the presidency in what the former government initially described as a "coup" but which has since been judged a legal transfer of power.
Waheed's government, which has aligned more closely with a hardline Islamist party, objected to the privatisation of the airport carried out by Nasheed and said the deal was corrupt.
Earlier this month, senior Indian officials welcomed an opposition Maldivian politician who claimed he was beaten up by police in what was also viewed by some as a sign that New Delhi was concerned about political violence in the country.
(With inputs from agencies)