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Writ Petition on Nuclear Liability for Koodankulam Filed in the Supreme Court of India

Koodankulam Documents: Prashant Bhushan’s Note in the Supreme Court

On the issue of liability of the Russian supplier in case of an accident at Koodankulam, SC today, after hearing counsel for petitioner Mr. Jayant Bhushan, issued notice to the Union of India and asked it to respond within 3 weeks to the attached writ petition filed by CPIL and others. The Court also asked the earlier petition filed by Common Cause and other prominent citizens challenging the constitutional validity of the Nuclear Liability law itself to be tagged and be heard along with the attached petition. In the earlier petition filed by Common Cause and several others, SC had on 16.03.2012 admitted the petition and had agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the Act that limits the liability to 1500 crores. In the Kudankulam liability petition on which SC issued notice today, we told the Court that even this minimal liability has not been applied to the Russian supplier. The Court asked the AG are the Kudankulam reactors 3 & 4 covered by the liability law, to which he said yes. We said as we have done in our petition that Kudankulam 1 & 2 are not covered by any liability.

The SC also asked the Government to file an affidavit on the aspect of disaster management and rehabilitation of people.

Mr. Bhushan also told that Court that under the 1989 environmental clearance, MoEF directed that exclusion zone (where no person can reside) must be of 2 km. The Government has unilaterally modified it to be 1.6km. So violation of an essential condition would make the clearance void, he submitted.

SC bench of Justice K S Radhkrishnan and Dipak Misra said that they would examine the environmental and safety aspects of the reactor.