The Supreme Court has refused to allow reopening of Vedanta’s Sterlite plant in Tuticorin, setting aside National Green Tribunal’s December 2018 order. The apex court also asked CBI to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the police firing that killed 13 persons during the anti-Sterlite Copper plant protest in Tamil Nadu last year.
A bench, headed by Justice R.F. Nariman, said, NGT has no jurisdiction to order reopening of the plant. The court said, it is allowing Tamil Nadu’s appeal against the NGT order only on grounds of maintainability. The bench added that Vedanta has liberty to approach the Madras high court with its plea for reopening of the plant.
The court was hearing a plea by Vedanta group seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to implement the NGT order which had set aside the government’s decision to close the plant. The Tamil Nadu government had ordered permanent closure of the Sterlite plant after 13 people were killed during protests over the pollution being caused by the unit.