The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Madras High Court's interim order to close Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd's copper smelting plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. The stay will be in operation till the date of the next hearing on 18 October.
Sterlite Industries, a unit of the London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, had approached Supreme Court seeking a stay on the Madras High Court order to close its copper smelting plant in Tuticorin. The company also filed a review petition in the Madras High Court seeking three weeks' time to implement its order, saying the plant producing sulphuric and phosphoric acid cannot be shut down instantly.
A division bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the closure of the plant holding that it was within 25 km of an ecologically fragile area, and the company had failed to develop a green belt with a width of 250 meters around the plant.
The court also said the employees were entitled to compensation as provided for under Section 25-FFF of the Industrial Disputes Act.
The high court also directed Tuticorin district collector to take necessary steps for re-employment of the workforce in other companies so as to protect their livelihood to the extent possible, keeping in view their educational and technical qualifications and experience.
The company also filed a review petition in the Madras High Court seeking three weeks time to implement its order, saying the plant producing sulphuric and phosphoric acid cannot be shut down instantly.