The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the export of 1,090.596 tonnes of endosulfan to enable the manufacturers to meet their contractual obligations, even as it made it clear that the ban imposed on May 13 on production of the pesticide would continue.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar gave this direction, taking into consideration the report of an expert committee that the manufacturers had export orders for 1,734 tonnes of` endosulfan ‘technical' and 292.5 KL of `formulation,' which could be allowed for export.

The Bench directed the manufacturers to take enough precaution in packaging the banned pesticide for its safe export to the countries concerned.

It asked the customs, Insecticide Board and excise authorities to monitor the packaging and transport of the consignment to the ports concerned.

The court, acting on a writ petition filed by the Democratic Youth Federation of India, banned the production and sale of endosulfan in the country.

It directed the statutory authorities to freeze the production licences granted to the manufacturers till further orders.

In the meantime, it appointed the committee to suggest ways and means for clearing the existing stock, which included the quantity meant for exports and measures for disposal of remaining material.

On Friday, the Bench directed that the export licences/permits that were cancelled pursuant to the ban imposed in May should be restored to enable the manufactures to export the existing stock.

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on October 10, when it would consider alternatives to endosulfan.

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