The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused an urgent hearing of the Tamil Nadu government’s plea challenging the National Green Tribunal’s decision to allow mining firm Vedanta access to the administrative unit of its Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi, PTI reported.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud posted the matter for hearing next week.
The state government moved the court on August 14, five days after the tribunal passed its order. The green court, however, had asked the district authorities to ensure that the company does not access the plant’s production unit.
Vedanta moved the tribunal, challenging the state government’s order to close the plant after protests against it left 13 people dead in May. On August 20, the tribunal said an independent judicial committee would decide in about six weeks if Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper plant should be allowed to reopen.
Vedanta has called the closure order and the pollution control board’s refusal to renew its operating licence “impugned and unlawful”. Last month, it asked the green court to issue an interim stay so that the plant can continue operations pending appeal. However, on July 30, the tribunal refused to grant it interim relief.