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Gas leak: SC permits LG Polymers to have access to its Vizag plant

By: Express News Service | Hyderabad |

Published: May 26, 2020 4:43:55 pm

Based on the amendment, LG Polymers had asked the CFE to delete the condition for requiring environmental clearance before starting production of engineering plastics. (PTI)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed LG Polymers India Ltd to have restricted access to its sealed plant at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and asked the company to submit a list of personnel who would be allowed access to its premises.

The chemical plant was sealed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court taking cognisance of the styrene leak on May 7 in which 12 people were killed and 500 others were injured.

Appearing for LG Polymers, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi told a three-judge bench that they had approached the court against the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) directing LG Polymers to deposit Rs 50 crores with it as fine and sealing of the plant premises by the high court.

The top court refused to stay the orders of the HC and stated that all further arguments would be heard at the high court or NGT. Rohatgi stated that sealing the plant causes more problems and sought access for some personnel to the premises.

The bench observed that certain issues had to be examined by the high court and that it would record the observations and send it to the HC. Rohatgi submitted that the directors of the company were not running away and sought emergency access to the premises.

The bench has listed the matter for next hearing on June 8.

A police picket has been put up outside the LG Polymers factory and the gate has been locked by police on Tuesday following the high court orders to seize the premises.

“We have locked the gates as per the HC’s orders. No one is allowed inside the premises. We have kept a register where will we record the entry and exit of the members of the committee which is investigating the incident,” Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner R K Meena told The Indian Express.

The high court had ordered the state government to “seize the premises of LG Polymers” at Visakhapatnam and not allow the directors of the company to leave the country without the it’s permission. The court also asked the government to reply why the company was allowed to shift styrene gas to South Korea without the court’s permission when a probe was pending and who was responsible for it.

“We further direct that none of the assets, movable or immovable, fixtures, machinery and contests shall be allowed to be shifted without the leave of the court,” the order said.

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