Economic considerations can have no role to play while deciding the sustainability of a
highly polluting industry and the only consideration would be with regard to
safeguarding environment for posterity and remedying the damage caused, the Madras High Court said on Tuesday.
Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and V. Bhavani Subbaroyan made the observation while dismissing a batch of 10 writ petitions filed by natural resources company Vedanta to permit reopening of its Thoothukudi Sterlite copper smelting plant that was sealed and closed down permanently by the government due to environment concerns.
“The petitioner has been consistently stating that if their plant is shut, the requirement of copper in India cannot be met and that it will be a great blow on the economy, etc.,” the judges said and rejected the argument by stating that the courts have repeatedly held that when it comes economy pitted against environment, environment would reign supreme.