The Supreme Court Tuesday paved the way for the re-opening of Vedanta's Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin, which was at the centre of massive protests over pollution concerns, by refusing to stay the green tribunal order that had set aside the Tamil Nadu government's decision to close it.
"The directions that have been passed by the National Green Tribunal, by its judgment dated December 15, 2018, will continue to subsist and will be subject to the ultimate outcome of the appeal," it said.
The top court also sought response from Vedanta on the state government's appeal against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to reopen the plant.
It had said the tribunal had consequentially directed the TNPCB to pass fresh orders of renewal of consent and issue authorisation to handle hazardous substances to the Vedanta Limited.
On December 15 last year, the NGT had set aside the state government's order for closure of the Sterlite copper plant, saying it was "non sustainable" and "unjustified"
At least 13 people were killed and several injured on May 22 last year when police had opened fire on a huge crowd of people protesting against environment pollution being allegedly caused by the factory.
The Tamil Nadu government had, on May 28 last year, ordered the state pollution control board to seal and "permanently" close the mining group's copper plant following violent protests over pollution concerns.
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