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Setback to Vedanta: Petition against Central Empowered Committee rejected

Published by MAC on 2005-05-12

Setback to Vedanta: Petition against Central Empowered Committee rejected

The Samaj, Cuttack Edition (Translated from Oriya)

12th May 2005

Vedanta Company, which has openly violated the Forest and Environment Law and created a conflicting situation in Lanjigarh of Orissa has faced a serious setback in the Supreme Court today. Company's plea not to consider the order by the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court, has been rejected by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee, has been hearing the cases relating to Niyamgiri forest, forest land and rehabilitation and resettlement cases since last two months [actually its three months - LC editor]. The Sharma Chadha Committee also had submitted a negative report against the style of working of Vedanta and the state Government. As everything had been going against the Vedanta company, it filed a petition in the Supreme Court not to consider the orders by CEC.

Earlier also the CEC had passed comments against mining in the Niyamgiri forest. As the next hearing of the committee was scheduled in 2nd week of June, the Company pleaded that these hearings may be quashed by the Supreme Court. However, a three member bench of the Supreme Court today rejected Vedanta's plea. The Bench has also directed the CEC to finish the hearings within four weeks and submit its report to the Supreme Court within eight weeks. During today's hearing the pleader for the CEC, Mr. Harish Salve, raised serious concern against the Vedanta project. He pleaded that the Niyamgiri is rich in bio-diversity and two major rivers originated from here and that giving permission to Vedanta to go ahead with the mining would not be fair.

Today's proceedings in the Court reflect the Vedanta Company's desperate attempt to continue with the project by hook or crook.

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