The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has urged the High Court to dismiss a case seeking to enforce a 1989 contract leasing duty free shops to an international investor.
The authority on Thursday termed the 23-year-old contract entered with World Duty Free shops Ltd, associated with businessman Kamlesh Pattni, as “null and void.”
Making his submissions before Justice Alfred Mabeya, lawyer Eric Mutua said the contract is not binding on KAA.
He told the judge that World Duty Free inherited an agreement entered between the Government of Kenya and a company known as “The House of Perfumes,” owned by Mr Ibrahim Ali.
In asking for the dismissal, Mr Mutua said “the 1989 contract adopted in 2003 was marred with corruption”.
He added that it was against public policy to allow one company to enjoy monopoly over KAA terminals.
He asked the judge to adopt the findings of an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of October 4, 2006.
KAA submitted that Kenya is bound by International Law and Findings by legally recognised tribunals.
The investor lost the suit and now KAA says the plaintiff (World Duty Free) should not benefit from the questionable agreement.
World Duty Free is asking the court to compel KAA to allow it to operate exclusively at all its airport terminals for 10 years.