Even as the Sterlite Copper imbroglio has become a major election issue for political parties in Tamil Nadu, Vedanta Ltd. has moved the Supreme Court with a special leave petition (SLP) seeking interim access to undertake maintenance activities at its plant in Thoothukudi.
The SLP also urged the apex court “to grant all approvals, permits, licences, certificates etc. that stood withdrawn or cancelled by the various statutory authorities.”
Vedanta, which runs Sterlite Copper, has sought the Supreme Court to “issue an interim direction permitting it to complete its turnaround shut-down activities that it was conducting and which were stopped abruptly as a result of the illegal closing/sealing of the plant.”
The Supreme Court had earlier ruled that the NGT (National Green Tribunal) had lacked jurisdiction in the matter (i.e. ordering the reopening of the Sterlite unit) and asked Vedanta to seek remedy from the high court. Vedanta could not get any interim relief from the Madras High Court, which adjourned the case to April 23.
With political parties highlighting the issue during the poll campaign, a sense of unease has gripped the corporate world here.
Philips Carbon Black is said to be reconsidering its plan to set up a unit in the State. South Korean automaker KIA Motors and many others have chosen to go to Andhra Pradesh. Several downstream units around Sterlite Copper have also fallen on bad days ever since the closure of the Thoothukudi plant.