LG Polymers Ltd, from whose plant at Visakhapatnam poisonous Styrene vapour got leaked on May 7 leading to the death of 15 persons and hospitalisation of scores of others, has challenged the suo motu hearing of the case by National Green Tribunal.
On behalf of the company, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi filed a petition in the Supreme Court stating that the NGT had no locus standi in taking up suo motu case of the Styrene gas leakage. He brought to the notice of the SC that the NGT was hearing the case on November 3.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Lalith, which heard the arguments of both the sides, asked the company representatives to submit their objections within 10 days over the findings of the committee appointed by NGT in the case.
The Supreme Court directed that till it gave further orders, the NGT should not take up hearing but defer the proceedings. The court postponed the case to November 16 for further hearing.
The Visakhapatnam police in July arrested 12 persons including the chief executive officer and two directors of LG Polymers Ltd. They include company’s managing director and CEO Sunkey Jeong, technical director D S Kim (both South Korean nationals), additional director (operations) Pitchuka Poorna Chandra Mohan Rao, head of the department and shift in-charge Kodi Srinivas Kiran Kumar, team leader (production) Raju Satyanarayana.
But all of them were released later on bail. The Korean officials were also given permission to leave the country.
The state government suspended deputy chief inspector of factories KBS Prasad for alleged negligence in inspecting the LG Polymers plant for any potential hazards in its design.
Besides, Visakhapatnam zonal environmental engineer R Lakshmi Narayana and regional environmental engineer P Prasad Rao were also suspended for allowing operation of LG Polymers plant without environmental clearance and the import and storage of huge quantities of styrene without verifying safety and environmental issues.