In a breather to infrastructure company Jaiprakash Associates, the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed till April 20 the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order that asked the Jaypee Group firm to pay R100 crore as penalty for setting up its captive thermal power plant without environment clearance. With this order, the firm will not have to pay its second instalment of R25 crore, due on March 31, till the next date of hearing.
Jaiprakash Associates had sought early hearing before the bench headed by chief justice Altamas Kabir. It said it had paid the first instalment of equal amount. The original bench of justices AK Patnaik and HL Gokhale, which admitted the matter earlier in November last year, had refused to grant stay “of the damages of R100 crore ordered by the High Court”.
Justice Patnaik had directed Jaiprakash Associates to deposit the “damages in instalments as per the impugned order of the High Court. We, however, direct that the damages deposited by the petitioner (Jaiprakash Associates) will remain with the state and will not be disbursed during the pendency of the appeals.”
The HC on May 4 last year had also directed the Jaypee Group company to dismantle its 60 MW captive power plant within three months, but had allowed its 1.75-MT cement plant in Solan to stay.