Supreme Court notice to government on Orissa projectApril 21st, 2011 - 11:40 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday issued notices to the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), the Orissa government and Sterlite Industries on a petition challenging the central government’s decision to cancel the environmental clearance to Niyamgiri Bauxite Mining Project in the state.
All the three were given four weeks to file their replies.
The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik issued the notices after senior counsel K.K. Venugopal assailed the cancellation order issued by the MoEF.
The petition was filed by Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) against the MoEF’s decision to deny forest clearance for the project.
Sterlite Industries is an Indian arm of Britain-based Vedanta Group. The MoEF had by its Aug 24, 2010 order cancelled the environmental clearance given to the $1.7 billion bauxite mining project.
Appearing for the OMC, Venugopal said that the cancellation of clearance by the MoEF was illegal and arbitrary. He said that the decision of the MoEF was in breach of the earlier order of the apex court by which it had cleared the project.
The OMC is a joint venture partner in this mining project along with Sterlite Industries.
The MoEF decision has upset the project plans for mining in the hills and set up an aluminium refinery in the area.
The OMC owns the mines in the Niyamgiri hills. The petition said that by the apex court judgment of Nov 21, 2007 and Aug 8, 2008, Sterlite Industries was permitted for mining in the hills.
The petition has said that despite the court’s clearance, the MoEF has once again reopened the issue by reversing the clearance to the project. The petition described the MoEF action as “unique and unprecedented” as it over-turned the apex court clearance.
“The Supreme Court took into account ecological, environmental, wildlife and issues related to relief and rehabilitation measures for tribals before giving the clearance,” the petition said.
In the mining cum refinery project, Vedanta had signed a deal with Orissa government in 2003 for the construction of an aluminium refinery and had proposed to extract three million tonnes of bauxite per year from Niyamgiri hilltop.
The forest bench of the apex court denied Vedanta the permission to mine and instead asked Sterlite to do so provided the environmental norms were adhered to.
- Vedanta: Apex court moved against denial of forest clearance - Mar 10, 2011
- Apex court questions environment ministry on Niyamgiri (Lead) - Aug 01, 2011
- Supreme Court asks for fresh petition on Orissa mining issue - Apr 01, 2011
- Supreme Court questions environment ministry on Niyamgiri - Aug 01, 2011
- Apex court's final hearing on Sterlite project next year (Lead) - Aug 23, 2011
- Orissa moves SC against denial of green nod to Vedanta mining project - Apr 01, 2011
- Vedanta replies to ministry's showcause notices - Sep 15, 2010
- India junks Vedanta's mining bid on environment concerns - Aug 24, 2010
- Activist demands shutdown of Vedanta refinery in Odisha - Sep 18, 2012
- Vedanta companies tumble at bourses after mining ban - Aug 24, 2010
- Orissa seeking legal opinion on Vedanta project - Oct 28, 2010
- Vedanta refinery cuts output on bauxite shortage - Aug 25, 2012
- Vedanta plans to shut down Odisha refinery from December - Sep 06, 2012
- No environment clearance to Vedanta - Jul 02, 2011
- Vedanta won't give fight over Orissa hill tribe's sacred mountain - Feb 01, 2011
Tags: apex court, court bench, court judgment, environmental clearance, forest clearance, indian arm, mining corporation, mining project, ministry of environment, ministry of environment and forests, omc, orissa government, petiti, raveendran, rehabilitation measures, senior counsel, sterlite industries, vedanta group, venture partner, venugopal