Vizag gas leak: SC refuses to interfere with NGT order directing LG Polymers to deposit Rs 50 crores


What was the case about? 

The NGT issued an interim order on 8 May concerning the gas leak at the LG Polymers plant in Visakhapatnam the previous day. The tribunal had directed the firm to immediately pay Rs 50 crores as compensation, and set up a five-member committee headed by retired Andhra Pradesh High Court judge B Seshayana Reddy to investigate the accident that claimed 11 lives.

LG Polymers thus approached the Supreme Court to ask the NGT to take notice of the issue even though the Andhra Pradesh High Court had already done so and also to ask the formation of this committee, because the High Court and the Central Government had already set up their own investigation committees.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, refused to pass any immediate interference to the National Green Tribunal order while hearing a petition filed by the LG Polymers challenging the order of the NGT.“We can't interfere at this stage as the matter is seized of by the NGT”, the court said. The bench headed by Justice UU Lalit observed that the question of the jurisdiction of the NGT was not something to be decided by the Supreme Court, although LG Polymers could raise it at the tribunal's next hearing on 1 June. The judges also indicated that the business could raise the question of whether the NGT should set up a committee at the hearing after the high court had already done so.

In the light of this, the apex court did not give a note, nor did it reject the petition of LG Polymers. The matter was scheduled for June 8, by which time the NGT should have heard the claims about jurisdiction and the committees from the client, and made a decision.

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