Vizag Gas Leak : SC Allows LG Polymers Employees Access to the Infamous Chemical Plant

On May 26, 2020, the Supreme Court consented 30 employees from LG Polymers to assess the chemical plant in Vizag, where the horrific Gas Leak incident took place on May 7, 2020. The incident left several people dead and the rest heavily injured. This comes seven days after the Supreme Court turned down the plea filed by LG Polymers challenging the order of NGT on the Vizag Gas Leak. As a result, the company will have to deposit 50 crores adhering to the order. In addition, a special committee will also look after these matters.

The bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit, Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran assessed the matter and ordered the Petitioner company to issue a fresh list of 30 personnel who will have access to the chemical plant. The company had to submit the list by 3 pm, May 26, 2020.

Question of Law before the Apex Court

The Apex Court declared its non-interference when matters of law, jurisdiction and legalities of the National Green Tribunal arose on May 19, 2020. Thus, the Supreme Court ordered that the NGT will hear the contentions. The bench comprising of Justices U U Lalit, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Vineet Saran passed the following order:

With due conformance to the NGT order, the Appellant had deposited the required amount of Rs. 50 crores. Moreover, the issues raised by the Appellant company are ethically and legally binding. We provide liberty to the Appellant to raise these problems before the NGT before the next assigned date i.e. June 1st

The bench acknowledged the contentions raised by the Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing on behalf of LG Polymers. The bench was in consensus to the fact that their participation is meant to be vital and that it will send the observations to the High Court for assessment.

Mr. Rohtagi however had informed the bench that he will consider a transfer petition before the High Court, but the Bench refused to intercede in the matters of the High Court.

The matter is now listed on 8th June.