The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate closure of Sterlite Industries’ copper smelting plant in Tuticorin, dealing yet another blow to the Vedanta Group’s operations in the country.
Justice Elipe Dharmarao and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar said that the ongoing activities of the company will result in a rise in pollution levels and affect workers.
Sterlite Industries is 59% owned by the London-listed Vedanta.
In August this year, the union environment ministry cancelled Vedanta Group’s plan to mine bauxite at Lanjigarh, Orissa to feed its alumina project, throwing a huge spanner in the company’s plans to consolidate its position as an integrated aluminium player.
To safeguard the interests of the over 1,050 direct and 1,500 indirect employees working at the plant, the Madras High Court ordered that they be paid compensation under Section 25 of the Industrial Disputes Act.