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Sterlite: SC asks NGT to decide on merit and maintainability

PTI New Delhi | Updated on September 10, 2018 Published on September 10, 2018

 The Supreme Court on Monday asked the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to decide on the merits and maintainability of the issue raised by the Tamil Nadu government on Vedanta’s plea challenging the closure of its Sterlite plant at Tuticorin.

The top court said the NGT should consider these issues after a three-member committee, constituted by the green panel to look into environmental compliance and other issues at the Sterlite plant, submits its report.

A bench of Justices RF Nariman and Indu Malhotra said it has already asked the NGT to consider the issues of merit and maintainability. “Since our order is not mentioned in the NGT’s order of August 20, we need to remind the tribunal that once the report of the committee comes, it will decide the issues of merit and maintainability,” the bench said. Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for Vedanta, said he had no problem if the NGT decides both the issues as all relevant materials were with them.

When the bench asked the parties about their objections to the committee, CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said he had an objection.

The bench then said it will pass order and directed the NGT to decide the issues of merit and maintainability.

On August 31, the NGT had appointed former Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice Tarun Agrawal as the head of a three-member committee to decide on Vedanta’s plea challenging the closure of its Sterlite copper plant. The apex court had on August 17, refused to entertain the State government’s plea against the NGT order allowing Vedanta access to the administrative unit inside the plant and asked the NGT to “finally decide” the matteron merits and also on the issue of maintainability.

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Published on September 10, 2018
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