The Supreme Court (SC) of India has held National Aluminium Company (Nalco) top officials including executive director (Marketing) R N Mohapatra and former Chief Managing Director Tapan Kumar Chand in contempt of court.
The order was passed after Vedanta filed a petition alleging willful disobedience of an SC order passed on Jan 14, 2020, allowing Vedanta’s UK branch to partake in Nalco’s tender for the sale of surplus 30,000mt of metallurgical grade calcinated alumina.
Although Vedanta planned to use alumina at its Jharasguda plant, the Jan 14 order allowed the producer to participate in the auction meant for exports. Through the tender, Vedanta secured 30,000mt of alumina on June 24. Nalco, however, refused Vedanta’s claim and dismissed the transaction at Visakhapatnam Port.
The state aluminium producer asked Vedanta to procure ‘Let Export Order’ from customs authorities at Visakhapatnam Port. Since Let Export Order’ under the Indian Customs Act is issued for the consignment to be shipped offshores, once issued it could have stalled the use of alumina at Vedanta’s Jharsuguda plant.
Vedanta maintained before the court that by insisting for LEO order, Nalco is trying to undo the apex court direction.