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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Russia firm off the hook: SC poser to govt on N-plant

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 04, 2012
First Published: 19:40 IST(4/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:19 IST(5/10/2012)

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked a pointed question to the Centre on the safety issues surrounding the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

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Hearing the petitioner, who contended the plant suffered from lack of safety measures, a bench of justice KS Radhakrishnan and justice Dipak Misra sought to know from the government whether absolving Russian company  from liability (in case of a mishap) will slap fiscal liability on the exchequer.

The bench also wanted to know if the same will have an impact on tax-payers. The court posed the question after the petitioner assailed the Centre’s decision to exempt Russian reactor manufacturer firm from liability in case of an accident due to a defect in the reactor.

The court fixed October 11 as the next date of hearing and also directed the petitioner to implead the National Disaster Management Authority after his counsel claimed the government had not complied with the statutory guidelines framed by the authority regarding nuclear safety.

Petitioner, social activist G Sundarajan, submitted that the safety measures recommended by the Atomic Energy Regulation Board (AERB) have not been put in place and government agencies have not determined till date the site for storing spent nuclear fuel.

“Instead of dealing with these issues and addressing the concerns in a meaningful way, the government has launched a wave of repression and has slapped 8,000 sedition cases against peaceful protesters,” said advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner.

The bench, however, refused to pass any order on Bhushan’s plea to pass an interim order to restrain the government from commissioning the plant.


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