HC allows impleading plea filed by Vaiko in Sterlite casePTI | Chennai | Updated: 12-06-2019 23:11 IST | Created: 12-06-2019 22:48 IST
The Madras High Court on Wednesday allowed MDMK chief Vaiko and an activist to be be impleaded in the petition by Vedanta group firm Sterlite Copper against a Tamil Nadu government order closing its copper unit in Tuticorin district. The court accepted the pleas by Vaiko, activist Fathima besides five others that they should be made a party to the case as they "have played a role in one or more proceedings either before NGT or this court or Supreme Court."
It, however, dismissed a batch of petitions from supporters of the Sterlite company, saying there is nothing on record to show that these parties have approached any other forum. A bench comprising justices TS Sivagnanam and Bhavani Subbaroyan, commenced hearing on the petition from the Vedanta group firm Sterlite Copper
challenging the state government closure order. "So far as the impleading of Vaiko and Fathima... the earlier round of litigation was on account of the fact that they were the writ petitioners in this Court and Supreme Court and necessarily they need to be arrayed as party before this
Court," the bench said. The matter was posted before the present bench after Justice K K Sasidharan, the senior-most judge heading a division bench, Tuesday recused himself from hearing the plea moved by Sterlite company.
The bench, while allowing other petitioners such as S Raja, Raju, Hari Raghavan and K S Arjunan to be impleaded, Wednesday said, "We find from the facts placed before us as much of which have not been disputed that all these persons have played a role in one or more proceedings either before NGT or this court or Supreme Court."
Dismissing 21 petitions filed by supporters of the unit seeking impleadment , the bench said "there is nothing on record to show that these parties have approached any other forum. "In the absence of any such we are of the view that these petitions are counterblast to the other impleading petitioners with a view to create a check made for the prayer for impleadment. Hence dismissed."
The bench, which posted the matter for further hearing on June 20, in its order said the hearing may commence on the main or miscellaneous pleas on that day and made it clear that no additional documents be filed which may delay the hearing. Justice Sasidharan, who was part of a three-judge bench, had said he had decided to recuse from hearing the case since he had passed an order in a connected matter while sitting at the Madurai bench of the high court restraining Sterlite from reopening the plant.
The plant was ordered to be shut after 13 people, protesting against the alleged pollution caused due to the plant, died in police firing in May last year. Vedanta has denied the allegations that its plant caused any pollution.