On State's demand for Endosulfan ban

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the Central government to file an affidavit explaining the steps taken on the demand of the State government for a total ban on the use of Endosulfan in the country.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice P.R. Ramachandra Menon issued the directive when a writ petition by T.Asaf Ali, president, Indian Lawyers' Congress, seeking to constitute a special tribunal for identifying Endosulfan victims in Kasaragod district and awarding compensation to them came up for hearing.

The court also directed that the manufacturers of Endosulfan be impleaded as a respondent in the case.

State's contention

In an affidavit, the State government had said that the use of Endosulfan had been banned or phased out from all countries, including Brazil and the U.S.

A review meeting of the Stockholm convention held recently in Geneva considered it as “persistent organic pollutant”.

The government said studies had shown that Endosulfan was extremely toxic in nature.

From ‘neighbours'

Though the use of Endosulfan was banned in the State by a Central government notification, there was a possibility of the pesticide being used in the State after it was brought from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where it had not been banned.

The government was seriously considering various options for compensating the victims of Endosulfan in the State.

As the matter involved policy decision, it had to be taken at the highest level after serious discussion, the affidavit said.

Plea for tribunal

The petitioner said the Plantation Corporation of Kerala and the State government were not making any effort to identify the victims or their relatives and pay them compensation.

It was, therefore, essential to constitute a tribunal on the lines of special tribunals for Munnar land disputes and victims of the pollution caused by the Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada.