The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Tamil Nadu government’s plea for an urgent hearing of its appeal against an NGT order permitting mining major Vedanta to access the company’s administrative office inside its Sterlite copper smelting plant at Tuticorin.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud posted the matter for hearing next week, after counsel appearing for the state mentioned it.
Tamil Nadu had ordered the closure of the Tuticorin plant, around 650 km from Chennai, following protests and the death of 13 persons in police firing on May 22.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had on August 12 chaired a meeting of ministers and officials to decide the next course of action after the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) August 9 orders in the case filed by Vedanta Ltd, which owns the Tuticorin plant.
While permitting access to the administrative office of the plant that was shut down, the NGT had barred the Sterlite management from accessing the production unit on the premises and directed the District Magistrate to ensure compliance with its order.
The tribunal had observed that no environmental damage would be caused by allowing the company to access its administrative section.