New Delhi [India], June 15 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday asked Andhra Pradesh High Court to decide by the end of next week on three applications filed by LG Polymers seeking access to the Visakhapatnam plant, where a poisonous gas leak incident took place on May 7.
A bench headed by Justice UU Lalit also said that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has the powers to take suo motu cognizance of incidents that have implications on the environment.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by LG Polymers, challenging the NGT's order in its suo motu case constituting a monitoring committee to look into the Vizag gas leak tragedy case.
LG Polymers can also move the Andhra Pradesh High Court for the release of the passports of their Directors currently deposited with authorities, the Apex Court said.
The company, in its plea, also sought directions to access the plant to ensure that it could respond to various committees that have been set up by different authorities concerned in the wake of May 7, 2020 incident, in which at least 11 people lost their lives.
Senior lawyer and former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for LG Polymers, said that the Collector had no reason to prevent two company personnel from entering the plant just because they were lawyers, even though the Supreme Court had earlier allowed the entry of 30 personnel into the plant.
The NGT had earlier directed Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary to identify and take appropriate actions against persons responsible for the failure of law in permitting the company to operate without statutory clearances.
The tribunal had taken suo motu cognizance of the May 7 gas leak incident at LG Polymers chemical plant in Visakhapatnam, in which 11 people had lost their lives, and the damage was caused to the environment and habitat. (ANI)