VIJAYAWADA: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday restrained the disbursal of Rs 50 crore compensation deposited by LG Polymers following the gas leak in its plant at RR Venkatapuram in Visakhapatnam, claiming 12 lives and leaving several hundreds ill, as directed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), for 10 days.
The SC also said that the Andhra Pradesh High Court shall dispose of the pending applications filed by LG Polymers by the end of next week.
The SC Bench of Justice UU Lalit, Justice MM Shantanagoudar and Justice Vineet Saran, heard the LG Polymers petition challenging the orders passed by the NGT and the AP High Court. The SC ordered bar on the disbursal of `50 crore deposited by LG Polymers following directions by NGT on June 1.
Appearing on behalf of LG Polymers, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi informed the court that the directors of the company were directed by the AP HC to deposit their passports before the court and contended that the HC order is without jurisdiction.
Further, Rohatgi said that the SC, on the last date of hearing, allowed access to 30 of the company’s representatives into the plant for maintenance and other purposes. However, the District Collector did not allow the entry of two personnel just because they are advocates even as the SC allowed entry of 30 personnel into the plant, Rohatgi said.
When the SC bench asked the LG Polymers counsel if they sought nod from the local authorities for the removal of hazardous gas from the plant, Rohatgi replied that the plant which is highly specialised one, was sealed. “The order of sealing (the plant) without an expert opinion is wrong,” he argued.
Rohatgi said that despite forming several committees under different statutes to oversee the case, the High Court is yet to take up the matter for hearing. Contending that the sealing of LG Polymers plant is ‘unconstitutional’, Rohatgi informed that they are before the SC to challenge the order by which the plant was sealed and also the court orders directing the passports of the company’s directors to be deposited.
Observing that such submissions cannot be entertained considering that the gas leak was the fault of the manufacturer, the SC asked the AP HC to hear and dispose of the pending applications before it by the end of next week.
Sealing of plant wrong: LG Polymers counsel
When the SC bench asked the LG Polymers counsel Mukul Rohatgi if they sought nod from the local authorities for the removal of hazardous gas from the plant, he replied that it was sealed. “The order of sealing (the plant) without an expert opinion is wrong,” he argued