MHC orders status quo on Sterlite plant

Sterlite Copper was closed by the Tamil Nadu government in May this year following violent protests against the expansion plans of the company that resulted in the death of 13 people due to police firing. File photo

In a setback to Sterlite Copper, the Madras High Court on Friday ordered status quo as existed before the National Green Tribunal set aside a Tamil Nadu government order for closure of the plant owned by the Vedanta group in Thoothukudi.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court ruled that the status quo will remain till January 21, and asked the state government to inform by then whether it intended to appeal against the NGT order.

The NGT had on December 15 termed as “non-sustainable” and “unjustified” the government order and directed restoration of electricity supply to the factory for resuming of operations.

Sterlite Copper was closed by the Tamil Nadu government in May this year following violent protests against the expansion plans of the company that resulted in the death of 13 people due to police firing.

Following this, the Vedanta-owned Sterlite Copper applied for fresh Consent to Operate (CoT) its now shut Thoothukudi plant with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

On Friday, Justices K K Sasindhran and P D Audikesavalu of the Madurai Bench restrained the Vedanta group from taking any steps to reopen the unit till further orders.

The ruling came on a petition against reopening of the Sterlite unit following the December 15 NGT order. The bench issued notice to the state chief secretary and the Chief Executive Officer of Sterlite to file their counter.

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MHC orders status quo on Sterlite plant

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