Madras HC refuses to allow reopening of Vedanta's Sterlite copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi
CHENNAI: In a major blow to Vedanta, the Madras High Court on Tuesday (August 18) refused to allow the reopening of Sterlite copper smelting plant and dismissed all the petitions.
The decision was announced by two-member bench, comprising justices TS Sivagnanam and V Bhavani Subbaroyan. The bench said that the orders should have been pronounced on March 11 but the pandemic delayed the process.
The Sterlite copper smelting plant was shut it 2018 due to environmental concerns. The state government subsequently issued a closure order on May 28, 2018, against the plant, days after a protest against Sterlite ended violently with police opening fire on protesters, killing 13 people.
Earlier, Sterlite had approached Supreme Court in 2019 which directed the company to approach the Madras high court.
Vedanta had filed toral 10 writ petitions in Madras HC challenging the orders passed by Tamil Nadu government and Tamil Nadu pollution control board on the ground that the TNPCB’s findings were based on old reports, and there was no higher level of pollutants or contamination by the plant as alleged by the board.
The government orders refused to offer permission to operate the plant, besides it disconnected the power supply.