Supreme Court Refuses To Stay Green Tribunal Order Allowing Sterlite Copper Officials Access To Admin Building The Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi.

The Supreme Court on Friday (17 August) refused to entertain a petition by the Tamil Nadu government to stay a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order allowing access to UK-based Vedanta group officials to enter the Sterlite Copper plant administrative building in Thoothukudi, The Hindu has reported.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Rohinton F Nariman and Indu Malhotra ruled that the national green tribunal would hear the petition on merits and decide on its maintainability.

Tamil Nadu government had moved the apex court against 8 August order by NGT which allowed Sterlite officials to enter the administrative building. The tribunal had observed that no environmental damage would be caused by allowing them access to the administrative building. The issue will next come up for hearing on 20 August.

Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for Vedanta, argued that the Tamil Nadu government had passed orders against the Sterlite plant without giving it a fair hearing, adding that the Thoothukudi unit was shut without notice.

The Tamil Nadu government had ordered the Sterlite copper plant shut on 28 May after violence broke out during protests on 22 May demanding closure of the unit for allegedly causing environmental damage.

Protesters had gathered on 22 May to mark the 100th day of protests, when a group among them began to indulge in violence which included setting ablaze vehicles and damaging public property. In the police firing that followed, 13 people were killed.

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