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Vedantas plea in SC seeks to continue operating oxygen plant in Thoothukudi
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Vedanta's plea in SC seeks to continue operating oxygen plant in Thoothukudi

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A Supreme Court bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah has agreed to hear the plea filed by Vedanta seeking to continue the operation of the oxygen plant Thoothukudi. The court had earlier ordered it to shut down the plant by July 31.

The top court will be hearing the matter next week.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Vedanta mentioned that the court allowed the oxygen plant to operate till July 31 considering the shortage of medical oxygen due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Tamil Nadu government said that the state has a sufficient supply of oxygen and argued that the plant should be shut down.

The Supreme Court had allowed Vedanta to reopen its closed plant in Thoothukudi on April 27 due to the pandemic. The court had said there should be no political bickering over it as the country is facing a crisis. It said that it will assess the situation of the Covid pandemic to decide what happens to the plant after July 31.

The court had also said that Vedanta should not be allowed to operate its copper plant under this order. The order also made it clear that the oxygen plant being functional will not create any equity in the company's favour. The copper plant was shut down in May 2018 due to pollution.

In December 2020, the Supreme Court rejected a plea by Vedanta seeking permission to reopen its Sterlite copper plant for a month and assess the pollution level. The Madras High Court also had ruled the same in August 2020.

The state government was also told to form an oversight committee to keep watch over the functioning of the plant. The committee had the District Collector, Superintendent of Police (SP), District Environmental Engineer, Sub-Collector Thoothukudi, and two other government officials.

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TAGS:Thoothukudi Vedanta 
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