Supreme Court sets aside NGT’s Order allowing re-opening of Vedanta Sterlite Copper Plant

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Supreme Court on Monday set aside National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order of December 15, 2018, which had allowed reopening of Vedanta Group owned Sterlite plant in Tuticorin.  The Court allowed the appeal on grounds of maintainability and has said that Vedanta is free to file a writ petition before the Madras High Court.

The Judgement was delivered by a bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman and Navin Sinha.

Earlier on December 15, The National Green Tribunal (NGT), has turned down the Tamil Nadu government’s order to shut down the Vedanta copper plant. NGT in its order also asked the state pollution control board to renew the license, Consent to Operate, and abolish other obstacles subject to certain fulfillment of conditions, within three weeks from the date of the Order i.e. December 15.

Later on January 2, this Year, Tamil Nadu government approached the Supreme Court challenging the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order of reopening the Sterlite copper smelter plant at Thoothukudi.

Earlier on January 8, The Top Court had refused to put a stay on NGT’s order of setting aside the Tamil Nadu government‘s decision to close Vedanta’s Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.

The copper plant was shut down in 2013 amid complaints of harming the environment, but it was reopened later after the SC directed Sterlite to spend ₹100 crores for the environment.

In May last year, 13 people were killed and several injured in the alleged police firing during the violent protest against Sterlite plant in Tuticorin. The people were protesting against the construction of the Sterlite copper plant, claiming that it was polluting groundwater, and was hazardous for the environment.

Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) was shut down by the Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), citing the violation of environmental laws. Vedanta approached NGT that gave the verdict in its favor on December 15.

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