The Andhra Pradesh High Court has reserved orders on writ petitions by eight South Korean nationals from petrochemical major LG Chem, who alleged that the state police is not allowing them to leave India.
They had arrived in India on May 13 to look into the cause of the May 7 gas leak incident at LG Polymers factory at Visakhapatnam, which had claimed 12 lives and affected hundreds of others.
The petitioners submitted to the court that they don't belong to LG India and that they are employees of the parent company in Korea. It was further argued that the police had issued a notice asking them to be present for inquiry. They also claimed that they are not being allowed to leave the country by the police.
However, Advocate General S Sriram informed the court that the petitioners were never stopped from leaving the country. The police had issued the notice as the delegation was on a mission to find the facts behind the gas leak accident and hence, their inputs would be crucial for the investigations.
The court was told that the police completed their inquiry and also took the statements of the petitioners. They were asked to present themselves before the police, if it is required in the future to corroborate some evidence.
The Advocate General further submitted to the court that the petitioners be required to file affidavits stating that they would be willing to come to India and present themselves before the police if it is required during the course of investigation or thereafter.
The High Court observed that in case the petitioners do not appear before the police when asked by them to do so, the government may approach the High Court by way of an affidavit, and whatever is necessary will be done.
The eight-member technical team from the Seoul headquarters of the company was sent to Visakhapatnam last month to investigate the gas leak from LG Polymers India plant.
LG Polymers India, a unit of LG Chem had stated that the team will work closely on-ground, along with the authorities to resolve the situation and assist with real-time remedial and rehabilitation measures.
The team, comprising experts from production, environment, and safety areas, aimed to investigate the cause of the incident and support rehabilitation.