The Supreme Court today asked an advocate, who has filed a petition seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into the deaths of protesters during the anti-Sterlite rally in Tamil Nadu, to mention the matter for urgent listing on Monday 28.
At the outset, a bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra said that the matters seeking urgent listing for hearing be mentioned on May 28. Advocate GS Mani, who filed the public interest litigation on the Tuticorin violence, urged the court that it was a “very serious matter”.
To this, the bench said, “All mentioning will be on Monday [May 28].” When the lawyer insisted further, the bench observed, “this is not the way you address the court”.
The plea has also sought registration of an FIR for the alleged offence of murder against Tuticorin Collector, Superintendent of Police and other police officials.
Thirteen people were killed in Tuticorin when police opened fire on thousands of protesters demanding closure of Vedanta Group-run Sterlite Industries for allegedly polluting the area causing severe health problems for area residents, besides the depleting groundwater table.
Hundreds of people were also injured during the protests to demand closure of the Sterlite Copper smelter plant.
The petition has termed as inadequate the compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of those killed during the protest. It has sought compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the families of those who were killed in the firing and Rs 25 lakh to those who were seriously injured in the police firing.
It has further sought restoration of internet services in the districts of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
Seeking a court-monitored CBI probe, the plea has alleged that the state police would not be able to conduct a free and fair investigation into the incident due to the involvement of senior police officials.