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Supreme Court clears way for reopening Vedanta's copper smelter

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

By Varadhan

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's on Tuesday cleared the way for to reopen its south Indian copper smelter by refusing to stay an order from the country's environmental court, the company's said.

The state government ordered the smelter shut permanently in May after protests against alleged pollution at the plant in the city of during which the police killed 13 demonstrators.

In December, (NGT) revoked the state decision to shut the plant leading to appeal the NGT ruling.

The refused to issue a so-called stay halting the NGT's decision, said in a voice recording sent by Whatsapp to reporters by the company's firm Brand-comm after the high court session.

Though the court refused to stay the NGT order, the court did admit Tamil Nadu's appeal before the high court, allowing that case to proceed further, Yogesh Khanna, a for the state told

"The court will continue to hear the case even though it has not stayed the earlier order by the (NGT)," Khanna said.

Additionally, the did issue a stay halting an order by the that barred from reopening the smelter until the Madras court hears a case challenging the NGT's verdict, said Sundaram.

"As it stands today, the order of the NGT stays and has to be complied with by both the parties," he said in the recording.

Vedanta will now file an application with the pollution regulator seeking consent to operate the smelter, said P. Ramnath, the of Vedanta's Indian copper business Sterlite Copper which operates the plant.

"It is difficult to say when we will be able to reopen the smelter," Ramnath said.

(Reporting by Varadhan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 14:01 IST