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SC seeks Centre response on liability aspect of Kudankulam

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a response of the Centre and the Department of Atomic Energy for allegedly exempting the Russian company involved in setting up of Kudankulam nuclear power plant from paying damages in case of an accident.

A bench of justices KS Radhakrishanan and Deepak Misra, which has been hearing various pleas pertaining to environment, safety and security issues of the plant, agreed to look into the liability aspect of the controversial plant and asked the government to file its response within three weeks.

A bench of justices asked the government to file its response within three weeks. PTI

It also said that earlier petitions challenging constitutional validity of the nuclear liability law be tagged and heard along with the Kudankulam plant matters.

A group of NGOs and social activists has moved the apex court seeking a direction to make it binding on the Russian company involved in the Kudankulam plant to pay damages in case of an incident or accident.

The petition filed by NGOs — Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Common Cause — and others alleged the Centre has exempted Russian company from all liabilities in case of any accident, which is against the law.

During the arguments, anti-nuclear activists told the Supreme Court that people's life around Kudankulam plant cannot be put at risk by placing safety measures in a phased manner from six months to two years.

The opponents of the Kudankulam plant contended that the 17 safety measures recommended by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board must be accepted before the commissioning of the plant to avoid even the "small chance" of mishappening within six months.