A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court against the clearance given by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on July 11 for ‘First Approach to Criticality’ (FAC) of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

The petitioner, G. Sundarrajan of Vadapalani here, an engineering graduate and one of the trustees of ‘Poovulagin Nanbargal,’ a trust which published a journal on environment and related issues, said that in a judgment on May 6 this year on Special Leave Petitions filed by him relating to the nuclear power plant, the Supreme Court had given various directions. They included that “endeavour should be made to withdraw all the criminal cases filed against the agitators so that peace and normality be restored at Kudankulam and nearby places and steps should be taken to educate the people about the necessity of the plant which is in the largest interest of the nation, particularly the State of Tamil Nadu.”

However, the AERB without verifying with the authorities about the implementation of the directions, on July 11 granted clearance for FAC. In a press release, the Board had said that while granting the clearance, it had been ensured that the directives had been fully complied with. But all the directives had not been implemented. Without compliance, the Board had given the clearance, the petitioner said.

When the petition came up before a Division Bench comprising Justices R. Banumathi and T.S. Sivagnanam, the Additional Solicitor General, P. Wilson said the petitioner’s complaint that the Supreme Court directives had not been complied with was not true. With regard to withdrawal of cases, the court had only said an endeavour should be made to withdraw the cases.

The Bench posted the plea before First Bench on July 23 along with connected matters.

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