Thoothukudi Sterlite Copper Plant Will Continue To Remain Shut, Rules Madras High Court

Thoothukudi Sterlite Copper Plant Will Continue To Remain Shut, Rules Madras High CourtThe Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi.

The Madras High Court has dismissed UK-based Vedanta Resources petition against the closure of its Thoothukudi Sterlite Plant.

A two-judge bench of the court comprising Justices T S Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subbaroyan said in their ruling today (18 August) that the stay to resume operations of the copper plant will continue.

Some in social media reported that a few political parties burst crackers and distributed sweets on hearing about the judgement.

Vedanta Resources will likely move the Supreme Court now against the Madras High Court ruling.

In 2013, the Supreme Court had struck down a similar ruling of the Madras High Court in 2010. Then, the High Court ordered the copper plant shut for violating environment norms. The apex court, however, fined Vedanta Rs 100 crore for polluting the environment.

The Sterlite Copper Plant was ordered shut by the Tamil Nadu government on 28 May 2018 following violence demanding its closure.

Nearly 100 days of protest demanding its closure resulted in violence on 22 May 2018 when the protesters took out a procession and indulged in violence damaging government buildings, properties and vehicles.

In the police firing to control the mob indulging in violence, 13 persons were killed.

The High Court took up Vedanta’s petition after the Supreme Court asked the firm to move the High Court in March 2019 while striking down a National Green Tribunal order asking the state government to allow the copper plant to operate.

The closure of the plant has resulted in India becoming a net importer of copper, while also helping Pakistan increase its copper exports to Pakistan by 400 per cent.

The Sterlite plant offered direct employment to 4,000 people and indirect employment to 20,000. The closure of the unit since May 2018 has led to a ripple effect on the industrial city’s economy.