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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Apex court relief for Sterlite

Mumbai, Oct. 1: Sterlite Industries today secured a stay from the Supreme Court on a Madras High Court order that had directed the company to shut down its copper smelter in Tuticorin over environmental concerns.

Sterlite is part of the Anil Agarwal-controlled Vedanta group, which has been facing flak for flouting environmental rules.

The Sterlite Industries share price spurted on the Bombay Stock Exchange to Rs 175.35 today, an increase of over 5 per cent.

In a notice to the bourses, Sterlite said Madras High Court passed an order on September 28 ordering the closure of the Tuticorin smelter. Sterlite had approached the apex court in protest and filed a special leave petition.

The Supreme Court has granted a stay on the high court order until October 18 when the matter will be further heard.

This is the second time in recent months that Vedanta has been pulled up on account of environmental concerns. In August, the environment ministry had turned down the group’s ambitious plans to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa as it would endanger local tribes.

This time in Tuticorin, reports said Sterlite’s plant was within 25 km of an ecologically fragile area and that the company had failed to develop a green belt of specific acreage around the plant.

The company has also been accused of air pollution, which is impacting people living around the smelter unit.

Sterlite’s Tuticorin unit has a capacity to produce 4,00,000 tonnes of copper cathodes and the company plans to double this capacity.

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