SC refuses to stay CBI probe in anti-Sterlite protest

SC refuses to stay CBI probe in anti-Sterlite protest

The High Court had on July 9 directed the state government to furnish a video in its possession, allegedly showing some anti-Sterlite protesters with petrol bombs during the stir, as it observed that a CBI probe into the violent incidents will instill confidence in the minds of the people. PTI file photo

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Madras High Court order for a CBI probe against police and district officials for firing at anti-Sterlite protesters in Tamil Nadu in May this year.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Sanjay Kishan Kaul issued a notice to the CBI on a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the high court order.

"We have to see the other side," said the bench, also comprising Justice S K Kaul, when senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi sought the stay, contending that the high court went on to order the probe against top officers of district administration and the police.

The police firing had taken place in Tuticorin district during the anti-Sterlite protests, which claimed 13 lives on May 22 and 23.

The high court on August 14 had transferred to the CBI the probe into the police firing and directed the agency to conclude the investigation in four months.

It had also quashed an order detaining six members of the 'Makkal Adhikaram,' a Left outfit accused of inciting violence in the district.

On May 22, after the Tuticorin district collectorate was picketed to seek the closure of copper plant of Sterlite, a unit of the Vedanta group over pollution concerns, large-scale violence had followed.