By Sudarshan Varadhan
The government of Tamil Nadu state ordered the smelter shut permanently in May after protests against alleged pollution at the plant in the city of Thoothukudi during which the police killed 13 demonstrators.
Twelve of the 13 protesters were hit by bullets in the head or chest, and half of those were shot from behind, Reuters reported last month.
"The directions that have been passed by the National Green Tribunal by its judgment ... will continue to subsist and will be subject to the ultimate outcome of the appeal," the supreme court said in its order uploaded on its website.
Vedanta will now file an application with the Tamil Nadu pollution regulator seeking consent to operate the smelter, said P. Ramnath, the chief executive 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.
Additionally, the Supreme Court issued a stay halting an order by the Madras High Court that barred Vedanta from reopening the Thoothukudi smelter until the Madras court hears a case challenging the NGT's verdict, said Sundaram.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)