Chennai: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed three-member committee announced on Wednesday that the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi by the Tamil Nadu government is ‘not justified’.

The panel headed by former Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court, Tarun Aggarwal, said that the shutting down of the plant was against natural justice.

"The state government may give several reasons for closing down the unit. But the closure is not justified," the panel said, according to reports.

"The three-member committee's submission is a favourable development and will help Sterlite reopen its plant. The committee has also suggested constant monitoring of groundwater in Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) and we will also adhere to all suggested norms," counsel for Sterlite Copper, Ariama Sundaram, told reporters.

The report said the permanent closure is not justified and so are the reasons behind the closure. The court has adjourned the case and further hearing has been slated for December 7. The court has also asked for the submission of reports from both the sides.

The tribunal has also said that the Tamil Nadu government should submit its petition within a week.

Reacting to the tribunal's decision, Kadambur Raju, Tamil Nadu minister of information and publicity, said that the decision to open or close the factory still rests in the hands of the government.