The Supreme Court today pulled up the Centre for not taking a clear stand on banning Endosulfan and appointed an expert committee to submit a report on whether use and manufacture of the pesticide can be stopped forever.
“Why does Centre not take a stand on this issue and why it is left for the court to decide,” a bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and Madan B Lokur asked.
“If we completely ban using the pesticide then it would be said that it would lead economic crisis and if we allow then it would be said that it would cause human crisis. Let someone from the government take a clear stand on the issue. You cannot leave everything on the court,” the bench observed.
It appointed an expert committee comprising Director General of Health Services, Member Secretary of Centre Pollution Control Board, two scientists and Joint Secretary of Plant Protection form Agriculture Ministry.
It directed the committee to study various aspects and submit its report within six weeks. It posted the matter for further hearing on November 20.
The apex court had on May 13 imposed a temporary ban on production, sale and use of the pesticide.
The court’s interim order had came on a petition seeking a ban on Endosulfan on the ground that it was causing health hazards including genetic disorders in Kerala where it is widely used.
The petition was filed by CPI-M’s youth wing Democratic Youth Federation of India seeking a countrywide ban on sale and production of Endosulfan.
According to the petitioner, researchers studying children from an isolated village in Kasaragod district have linked Endosulfan exposure to delays in sexual maturity among boys.