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HC asks TN government to withdraw cases against KKNPP protesters

HC asks TN government to withdraw cases against KKNPP protesters

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu government to comply with the Supreme Court order and withdraw criminal cases against anti-Koondankulam Nuclear Power Plant protesters.

The first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice M Satyanarayana also dismissed two other petitions, seeking to comply with all 15 directions given by the apex court, challenging clearance given by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

On July 17, a petition was filed in the High Court against commissioning of KKNPP on the ground that authorities had not complied with the 15 directions laid down by the Apex Court while giving the green signal for the project.

The division bench then posted it for hearing by the first bench which was seized of matters relating to the KKNPP.

On July 23, the State government had informed the High Court it could not withdraw the criminal cases as the situation in that town was not conducive for doing so.

Advocate General A L Somayaji made a submission in this regard before the first bench, hearing three PILs seeking fulfilment of 15 conditions laid down by the Apex Court before operationalization of KKNPP and also withdrawal of the cases.

The AG had pointed out the agitators continued their stir even after SC's go ahead to KKNPP and they should reciprocate the ruling by agreeing to remain peaceful and allow the plant to operate.

P Wilson, Additional Solicitor-General of India, had said central and state agencies like AERB, Nuclear Power Corporation of India and state Pollution Control Board and environment Ministry had filed separate reports since July 4.

There was no violation of the 15-point guidelines and these reports had been filed before the apex court registry, as directed by it.

The ASG also said there was a serious threat to KNPP from agitators and officials were being stopped from discharging their duties.

Counsel for petitioner had contended that two key guidelines – relating to safety review and inclusion of Kanyakumari district in the disaster management scheme - had not been complied with by the authorities.

While disposing of petitions against KKNPP, the apex court had on May 6 last given the go ahead to commission the plant and issued 15 directions to the authorities.

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