The National Green Tribunal (NGT) held that South Korean company LG Polymers has strict and absolute liability for environmental damage and loss of life consequent to the Visakhapatnam Gas Leak that took place on May 7.
In an order passed earlier, the NGT had directed the company to deposit a sum of Rs 50 crore before the District Magistrate of Visakhapatman as initial payment. One of the issues considered by the Tribunal was a challenge to its earlier order in the suo motu proceedings where deposit of money was directed. Rejecting the contention and establishing its power to take suo motu cognizance, the NGT said that it is a specialized Tribunal and is empowered to take suo motu cognizance of environmental mishaps, and pass orders effectively.
Earlier in May, days after the NGT took cognizance of the incident and directed LG Polymers to pay an initial amount towards compensation, the company had approached the Supreme Court over the issue of multitude of committees proving the incident. The Apex Court had directed the company to return before the NGT on the grounds that the Tribunal was already seized of the matter.
The company, LG Polymers was represented by Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra briefed by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas Partner Anuj Berry. Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board was represented by Senior Advocate Nikhil Nayyar with TVS Raghavendra Sreyas.