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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Vedanta to operate its closed oxygen plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, saying the order has been passed in view of “national need” for oxygen.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat said Vedanta shall not be allowed to enter and operate its copper smelting plant under the garb of this order.

The top court said there should be no political bickering over the generation of oxygen by Vedanta as the country is facing a national crisis.

It said the order allowing Vedanta to operate its oxygen plant would not create any equity in its favour.

The apex court asked Tamil Nadu to form a panel, including the district collector and the Tuticorin superintendent of police, to monitor activities at Vedanta’s oxygen plant.

On April 23, the top court had said people are dying due to lack of oxygen, and questioned the Tamil Nadu government on why it can’t take over Vedanta’s Sterlite copper unit at Tuticorin, closed since May 2018 over pollution concerns, for producing oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients.

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