What's Going On With Vedanta Share Price Today After Supreme Court Blow?

Shares of Vedanta were trading slightly higher on Friday as broader risk-on sentiment eclipsed the Supreme Court’s blow to the multinational mining firm’s copper plant in Tamil Nadu.

What Happened: The Supreme Court dismissed Vedanta’s plea on Thursday to reopen its Sterlite copper smelter plant in Tamil Nadu. The court emphasised the importance of sustainable development and prioritised the health and welfare of the area’s residents.

After five days of hearings, the court delivered its judgment, citing Vedanta’s failure to comply with legal obligations. This included the company’s inability to remove copper slabs from multiple sites, violation of consent conditions for gypsum operations and lack of authorisation for hazardous waste disposal.

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Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, leading the bench, acknowledged that closing the plant was not the preferred option. However, given the repeated breaches of law and regulations, both the high court and the regulatory authority had no alternative but to shut down the plant.

Dashed Hopes: During earlier hearings, the court proposed establishing an expert committee to assess the possibility of reopening the plant. Although Vedanta agreed to this proposal and suggested parameters, the Tamil Nadu government and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) were not willing to form such a committee.

In 2018, the Tamil Nadu government ordered the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant following violent protests that resulted in 13 deaths. The closure was attributed to environmental violations. The plant, which accounted for 40% of India’s copper output at the time and provided employment to thousands, was challenged by Vedanta. Although the National Green Tribunal permitted the plant to reopen, the Supreme Court overturned this decision, directing Vedanta to seek relief from the Madras High Court.

Despite various attempts, neither the Madras High Court nor the Supreme Court granted permission for the plant to resume operations. Vedanta subsequently filed a plea for periodic access to carry out essential maintenance, citing the deteriorating condition of the plant and its structures.

Price Action: Vedanta’s share price was up 0.17% at ₹268.50 after starting the session off 0.6% in the red.

Read Next: Debt-Ridden Vedanta May Sell Tamil Nadu Copper Plant For ₹4,500 Cr

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