NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday refused to interfere with the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order directing LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd to deposit ₹50 crore for damage caused by a gas leak at its Visakhapatnam plant.
On 7 May, a toxic gas, styrene, had started leaking from a chemical plant of LG Polymers on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, killing 11 and affecting more than 100 in the area.
LG Polymers had approached the apex court against the NGT order that directed constituting a fact-finding committee and imposing of an interim penalty of ₹50 crore for 'damaging life, public health and environment'.
The top court bench, headed by Justice UU Lalit, today said it will not interfere with the NGT order and that LG Polymers has deposited the interim penalty amount of ₹50 crore.
On 8 May, NGT had taken suo moto cognizance of the chemical gas leak incident. Chairperson Justice AK Goel heading the NGT bench had ordered that the penalty amount be deposited to the district magistrate of Visakhapatnam.
The five-member committee, headed by former judge of Andhra Pradesh, Justice B Seshasayana Reddy, has been directed to inspect the site of the accident and file its report to the NGT.
Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi, representing LG Polymers, apprised the bench that the amount has been deposited. He also said there are seven committees looking into the matter.
The seven committees include a panel by the central government, National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC), Central Pollution Control Board, among others. Rohatgi sought directions from the top court to assign one committee to look into the issue.
The apex court bench said the 'questions raised are purely legal in nature' and gave LG Polymers the liberty to raise the concerns before NGT on 1 June, the next date of hearing of the case.