SC refuses to stay CBI probe into police firing during anti-Sterlite protests

SC refuses to stay CBI probe into police firing during anti-Sterlite protests

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Madras High Court order for a CBI probe against police officials for firing during the anti-Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu in May this year.

Thirteen people agitating against the expansion of the copper smelter were killed on May 22 and May 23 – prompting the state government to permanently shut down the plant days later. Several people were arrested for rioting, burning vehicles in the premises of the collectorate, pelting stones and damaging public property.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued a notice to the CBI on the petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the High Court order.

The Central Bureau of Investigation started its inquiries in October following an order by the Madras High Court. The state government objected to this and filed a petition in the Supreme Court.

The final hearing in the Sterlite Industries case was completed today at the Supreme Court during which Vedanta, the group that manages the recently sealed company in Thoothukudi, said that it is ready to provide infrastructure such as electricity and water projects worth Rs 100 crore in the locality if the plant is allowed to be reopened.

However, the State government disapproved the proposal and stated that they cannot allow the reopening of the plant.

Meanwhile, the Tarun Agarwal Committee report reportedly confirms the allegations the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and public interveners had levelled against Sterlite Copper.

According to a The Wire rport, the committee has however asked for leniency when dealing with them. It also says the TNPCB violated the principles of natural justice and calls for reopening the factory.