As the Supreme Court was told Tuesday that the withdrawal of environment clearance for the joint venture bauxite mining project of the Orissa Mining Corporation and Sterlite Industries had created an uncertain situation, the court said it would hold a final hearing in the case in January next year.
The apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik declined the plea for an early hearing by senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, who appeared for OMC.
The corp has challenged the withdrawal of forest and environmental clearances by the union environment and forests ministry.
The forest clearance for the OMC and Sterlite bauxite mining project in Niyamgiri hills of the state was withdrawn Aug 24, 2010. The environment clearance was withdrawn July 11 this year.
Sterlite Industries is the Indian arm of the Britain-based Vedanta group.
Senior counsel Sanjay Parikh, appearing for the right activists Prafulla Samantray, said that OMC should be asked to approach the green tribunal for challenging the withdrawal of both the forest and environmental clearances.
Parikh told the court that when the apex court was moved, the green tribunal did not exist, but now since it was there the matter should go to it.
While deciding to hold the final hearing on the matter in January next year, the court permitted Prafulla Samantray to file application to be heard in the case.