Madras HC not to halt operation of Kudankulam
Advocate says protesters should respect ruling
The Madras High Court on Monday refused to halt the functioning of the multi-crore Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) and also directed the Tamil Nadu government to withdraw cases slapped against anti-nuclear agitators.
Taking up three public interest litigations (PILs) filed by an NGO, the first bench comprising acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan said the state government should comply with the apex court direction with regard to the withdrawal of criminal cases against the protesters.
The first PIL urged the court to instruct the state government to withdraw cases against the protesters and the second one argued against commissioning of KNPP. The third PIL challenged the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s (AERB) clearance for the plant to go critical.
On July 23, the state government had informed the high court that it could not withdraw the criminal cases as the situation in Kudankulam was not normal. Advocate General A L Somayaji said the agitators have continued their stir even after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
He said they should respect the ruling by agreeing to remain peaceful and allow the plant to operate.
P Wilson, Additional Solicitor-General of India, had said that Central and state agencies like AERB, Nuclear Power Corporation of India, state Pollution Control Board and the Environment Ministry had filed separate reports since July 4.
He said the reports were filed before the apex court registry, as directed by it, and there was no violation of the 15-point guidelines.
Wilson also said there was a serious threat to the KNPP from agitators, who are trying to obstruct the officials from discharging their duties.