FILE PHOTO: Police stand guard outside a copper smelter controlled by London-listed Vedanta Resources in Thoothukudi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, May 28, 2018. REUTERS/Sudarshan Varadhan/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday set aside an order by an environmental court which had cleared the way for reopening Vedanta’s south Indian copper smelter, in a blow to the company’s plans to begin operations.

The government of Tamil Nadu ordered the smelter shut permanently in May after violent protests at the plant in the city of Thoothukudi in which 13 people were killed.

In December, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) revoked the state decision to shut the plant, prompting the state government to appeal in the Supreme Court.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan and Suchitra Mohanty; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani


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