SC stays HC order on Adani Ports and SEZ

The Supreme Court Friday stayed the Gujarat High Court order halting commercial operations and development activities of 12 companies at the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) at Mundra in Kutch pending environment clearances from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir issued a notice and sought response of villagers of Navinal in Mundra taluka of Kutch district on whose petition the high court had passed the order the previous day staying the operations in SEZ.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Mahesh Aggarwal had mentioned the hurriedly filed appeal before the bench, also comprising justices A R Dave and Vikramajit Sen. The advocates, appearing for one of the companies, Dorf Ketal Specialty Catalyst Pvt Ltd, contended there were adequate environmental clearances for carrying out commercial operations. The bench posted the matter for March 1 for further hearing.

The high court had passed the order on a PIL alleging that these companies were not only developing production units but were also importing and exporting goods, despite no environmental clearance by the MoEF.

The petitioners villagers Jajubha Bhimji Jadeja, Kumbhar Ismail Hasan, Mahipatsingh Ranubhai Jesar and Bhagubha Madhubha Chavda, all belonging to Navinal village.

Meanwhile, a press release issued by Adani group on Friday said: "On February 14, 2013, the Gujarat High Court passed an ex-parte ad-interim order staying construction and operations of 12 units in Mundra SEZ. One of the units approached the Supreme Court against the order. After hearing, the SC has stayed the ex-parte ad-interim order by the Gujarat High Court."

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