New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday asked the ministry of environment and forests to respond to a plea of the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) challenging the withdrawal of environmental and forest clearances for its bauxite mining project in Niyamgiri hills in the state.
The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra asked the ministry to file its reply in two weeks after the Orissa government-run OMC told the court that the clearances were withdrawn without giving them an opportunity to be heard.
The court also permitted environmentalist Prafulla Samanta to move an application seeking to be included as a party in the case.
Samanta is opposing bauxite mining in Niyamgiri hills for the project between the OMC and the Vedanta Resources`s Indian arm, Sterlite Industries, for their aluminium plant in the state.