In a breather to Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed the State Industrial Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) order withdrawing land allotted to the company for its proposed expansion of doubling capacity at Tuticorin. In his order, while staying SIPCOT’s withdrawal notice Justice Parthiban is also said to have given an interim injuction, asking the state industrial promotion agency not to issue any further orders.
The matter is posted for further hearing on October 25. The Tamil Nadu government sealed the factory on May 28. SIPCOT issued a notice to the company withdrawing the 342.20 acres of land allotted to the company for the latter’s proposed expansion — doubling of capacity. “As allotment of the land for the proposed expansion has been made by SIPCOT, in larger public interest, the land allotment made for proposed expansion of copper smelter plant (Phase-2) by Vedanta Ltd is hereby cancelled,” SIPCOT said.
Vedanta then said it will contest the SIPCOT’s decision. When contacted, a senior official of the company confirmed the developments and said: “We have got a stay order from the Madurai bench of the Madras HC against the SIPCOT’s move to withdraw land allotted to us. It is a great relief for us as we have not done anything wrong on the environmental aspects.”
According to him, the company moved the Madurai bench on Monday with a notice served to SIPCOT. While PS Raman, senior advocate, appeared for the company, additional advocate general A Chellapandian appeared for the state government. The matter is posted for further hearing on October 25, he added. Sterlite Copper has drawn a major expansion plan to double the capacity from 400,000 tonne per annum to 800,000 tonne per annum with over Rs 3,000-crore investments, for which it got 342.2 acres of land allotted by SIPCOT a long time ago.