Jan 9, ET

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court has put on hold aBombay High Court order asking Anil Agarwal-controlled Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) to deposit Rs 187 crore with it as security in an arbitration case involving a Chinese firm.

A two-judge bench on Tuesday granted the stay on a special leave petition (SLP) filed by Vedanta Aluminum, India‘s largest aluminium maker. Power equipment manufacturer Shenzen Shandong Nuclear Power Construction Co (SSNPCC) has alleged that Vedanta caused it losses by stopping work at its controversial alumina refinery at Lanjigarh, Odisha.

The court also gave SSNPCC four weeks’ time to file its reply.

Based on a plea filed by SSNPCC, the high court in December had asked Vedanta to deposit the security amount till the arbitration proceedings were concluded.

SSNPCC had filed an arbitration plea early last year to recover its dues from Vedanta, which was forced to shut down its alumina plant at Langigarh after the environment ministry denied it permission to mine bauxite from the Niyamgiri hills.

As per the plea, Vedanta had placed an order with SSNPCC in 2008 for setting up co-generation units for the Lanjigarh project on a turnkey basis. Following the environment ministry order, Vedanta directed Shandong to “suspend all construction activities” at the site.