Civil Court orders MVKB to vacate duty free shop within 48 hours

The Civil Court has ordered MVK Maldives Private Limited to vacate the Alpha MVKB Duty Free shop and hand the premises to GMR Male’ International Airport Private Limited within 48 hours, or face eviction by the authorities. The deadline expires at 10:00am on Wednesday.

Civil Court Judge Maryam Nihayath ordered the Police and Customs Department to implement the verdict in the event that MVKB refused to comply.

MVK’s lawyer Azima Shukoor said that shop evacuation and handover by MVKB was not possible as the shop was currently the property of Customs. “There is nothing we can do about the 48-hour deadline since we don’t have access to the shop. We are forwarding the court order to Customs and requesting access to take inventory of the shop before anything further is done,” she said.

Shukoor explained that certain goods required specific air temperatures, and the shop does not currently have cupboards or shop doors.

Shukoor added that MVKB’s case had been appealed to the Supreme Court, and that the company is awaiting that ruling.

The verdict came after GMR filed a case in the Civil Court for the second time when MVKB refused to implement the earlier verdicts of the Civil and High Courts on the issue.

Judge Nihayath recalled that the High Court has ruled that MVKB has no right to use the land without GMR’s consent because it violates contractual rights.

On December 4, GMR officials began to physically remove the Alpha MVKB Duty Free Shop at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) after “several notices” to vacate the area were “ignored”.

On December 13, the High Court ruled that GMR had vacated the Alpha MVKB Duty Free Shop at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) legally and according to the agreement between both companies.

The High Court stated that GMR gave notice on March 1 and, as per the agreement, the contract terminated on March 31. As no party could extend the termination notice, the court concluded that MVKB had no right to remain at the airport without approval from GMR.

Company CEO Ibrahim Shafeeq subsequently organised a protest on Thursday, December 15 “to demonstrate our opinions and dislike of what GMR has done to us, and to get public responses.” Posters and banners read “Leave us Alone” and “GMR Go Home.”

Shafeeq today said the protest was “very successful, and more people are signing the petition [against GMR].”

Shafeeq said he would continue to protest GMR. “It hurt me and as an individual I have to defend myself,” he said.

Speaking to Minivan News yesterday at the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of work on the new airport terminal, GMR Chairman G M Rao said the company had encountered similar resistance from existing concessionaires when developing airports in Delhi and Istanbul.


12 thoughts on “Civil Court orders MVKB to vacate duty free shop within 48 hours”

  1. Congratulations Nihayath. Sure this must be a windfall for you. Of course you would be no stranger to the Customs Service would you? LOL

  2. Azima your credibility is under question. You will act for anyone, providing they are anti this government. You are up for hire. Shame.

  3. I praise Azima. A true lawyer always works to defend the indefensible and challenge herself.

    As a private individual Azima is not fettered by the same expectations placed on State Attorneys. She can pick and choose her cases merely based on financial benefit and personal development.

    Proud to have women like Aishath Azima Shakoor in this society.

  4. Dear all,
    I am a small share holder of AlphaMvkB, now MVKB. I have been working very hard, just as Mr. Shafeeg, to set up that business, where our main goal was to give as much as we could, work for the Maldivian people. A Maldivian business with Maldivian working people. We had to fight hard with the British when they attacked our honor, when dress in pajama sort of suits, like if they where to play golf, they came to our board meetings to pretend to colonize and show they where better than us, pretend to socialize our staff, as if our Maldivian staff were monkeys that needed to be socialized. Latter we had to fight with Sri-Lankans more or less for the same reason. Now its the Indians … don't you have pride for being Maldivians? That shop was and is the fruit of ward work, nights without sleep, taught negotiations. I never had problems in rolling up my sleeves and move boxes from one side to another, juts like you. How many more aggressions do we have to face? How many more attacks to our honest and hard working rights do we have to suffer?

  5. A country that is shred into pieces, can only end up be being devastating by big sharks.
    That has been the rule since the man stepped on the planet.
    Long ago Maldives was attacked by the Netherlands, later in a historical movement freed from Portuguese. The great portuguese wall, today if stilled stand would have valued millions. Later the British come with their CW chit-chat and what have they made? Today the Indians? Who will be next attacking and making benefits on the last paradise on earth? A country that doesn't respect the local people will end up a fine day, by realizing that the flag is just a cloth with colors but with no meaning !!!

  6. Dear all,
    Please apologize if I am taking part on this, but as you know from my previous comment, I have my interests on the subject, so I'll fight for them. Independently of what and how I'll fight, please let me be clear: AN AIRPORT LIKE MALE, BEING THE MAIN AIRPORT IN THE COUTRY, CANNOT BE RULED BY ANOTHER COUNTRY. This is a political mistake and a question of sovereignty. An airport is the main entry door of a country, thus, it is not only a commercial tool but a strategic element for the survival of a culture and people. Having it in the hands of big corporations from outside the country, can only lead to a disaster. Shouldn't this an element of reflection?

  7. i agree with you antonio. we maldivians built the airport from nothing and a foreigner should not get to develop our airport!

  8. Yes, indeed, aa, the entry door fo Maldives being rulled by Indians is a total lack of strategy and will create more anger. Maldives is a nice but small country and mistakes of that kind will be paid in the years to come. So many rallies on religion, but nothing to fight for your owm economy !!! humans we never learn do we? Look at us now in Europe ... Maldivians,religion is fine, but your concerns should be your sovereignty.


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