NEW DELHI —The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the green tribunal’s order of setting aside the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to close Vedanta’s Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi.
A bench, headed by Justice RF Nariman, sought response from Vedanta on the state government’s appeal against the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) order to reopen the plant.
The state had moved the top court, saying that the NGT had “erroneously” set aside various orders passed by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) last year with regard to the Sterlite plant.
It had said the tribunal had consequentially directed the TNPCB to pass fresh orders of renewal of consent and issue authorisation to handle hazardous substances to the Vedanta Limited.
On 15 December, the NGT had set aside the state government’s order for closure of the Sterlite copper plant, saying it was “non sustainable” and “unjustified”.
The Tamil Nadu state government appealed against the Indian environment court’s order in December to set aside Tamil Nadu’s order to close the copper smelter permanently.
The smelter was ordered shut by Tamil Nadu over alleged pollution that led to violent protests in May, culminating in police opening fire on demonstrators and killing 13.