SC rejects Sterlite proposal to run TN plant for 30 days in its supervision

Krishnadas Rajagopal New Delhi | Updated on December 02, 2020 Published on December 02, 2020

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a proposal made by Vedanta Sterlite to operate its closed copper plant in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu for 30 days under the supervision of an expert committee appointed by the court.

The company said this would enable the court to ascertain if the plant complies with pollution norms. The plant met 36 per cent of the country’s copper requirements and it was not in public interest to keep it closed, it added.

But a Bench led by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, in a short order, refused the proposal.

‘Ruse to open plant’

The Tamil Nadu government, represented by senior advocate KV Viswanathan and Additional Advocate-General Balaji Srinivasan, said the proposal was only a ‘ruse to open’ a plant that had been a polluting one for over 20 years. Slag was dumped at 11 places in Thoothukudi, they added. The Madras High Court had ordered its permanent closure and sealing. The plant has been closed since May 2018.

The apex court said it would hear the main appeal filed by the company against the High Court order later.

On Wednesday, senior advocate AM Singhvi, for Vedanta, argued that the apex court could ascertain whether or not the plant complied with pollution norms only if it was allowed to resume operations for 30 days.

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Published on December 02, 2020
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