HC orders seizure of Andhra Pradesh plant

HC orders seizure of plant; directors not to leave country

 The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered the seizure of the premises of LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam, where there was a gas leakage, and also barred entry into the plant by all except the committees appointed by the state government.

The court had, in its order on May 22, ordered the company's directors not to leave the country without courts permission and instructed the authorities not to release their surrendered passports without its permission.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice JK Maheshwari and Justice Lalitha Kanneganti was hearing a bunch of PILs including seeking justice on its own to the affected people and also shifting the factory from the present location, taking action against the culprits, among other prayers.

The premises of the company shall be completely seized and no one is allowed to enter into the premises, including the directors of the company, the court said.

As many as 12 people, including a minor, were killed when styrene vapours leaked from the LG Polymers plant on May 7, while several hundred fell ill after inhaling the poisonous chemical at RR Venkatapuram near Visakhapatnam.

We further directed that none of the assets, mobile or immobile, fixtures, machinery and contents shall be allowed to be shifted without the leave of the court," the bench said in its interim order. As stated before the court, the directors of the company have surrendered their passport and they are in India, however, we direct that their passports shall not be released without the leave of the court and they be not allowed to go outside India," the bench said in its order.

The committee, if any appointed, wants to inspect the premises they are at liberty to do so, however, they shall put a note on the register maintained at the gate of the company regarding the inspection and while returning another about the activities done on the premises should be noted, the court said.

The court sought replies from the State government and Centre before May 26 and posted the matter for further hearing on May 28.

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