India

Have compensated 98% of exposure victims, Kerala tells Supreme Court

In May, the court had slammed the Kerala government for doing “virtually nothing” for the endosulfan victims. File.

In May, the court had slammed the Kerala government for doing “virtually nothing” for the endosulfan victims. File. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Kerala government on July 18 informed the Supreme Court that it has compensated 98% of the endosulfan pesticide exposure victims.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, advocate Nishe Rajen Shanker, for Kerala, said the ₹5 lakh compensation for each of the over 3,700 victims had been disbursed. Verification was going on in the case of 25 persons while 22 had not been traced, Mr. Shanker said.

Mr. Shanker submitted on behalf of the government that positive steps were already under way to provide victims health care within reasonable distance so that they need not have to travel far.

Advocate Sudheer, for the petitioners, said the victims were mostly in dire need of exclusive palliative care. The court asked Kerala to look into the issue and listed the case after two weeks.

Slams State government

In May, the court had slammed the Kerala government for doing “virtually nothing” for the endosulfan victims. The court had said the State’s inaction was “appalling” and amounted to a breach of the apex court’s judgment in 2017, which had ordered the State to pay ₹5 lakh each to the victims in three months.

During the hearing in May, the court had realised that only eight out of 3,704 victims have been paid compensation. Of the 3,704 victims, 102 are bedridden, 326 mentally challenged, 201 are physically disabled, 119 wrecked by cancer while 2,966 others fall in the residual category.

“The right to health is an integral part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution. Without health, the faculties of living have little meaning,” the court had noted then at one point.


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Printable version | Jul 19, 2022 12:41:23 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/have-compensated-98-of-endosulfan-pesticide-exposure-victims-kerala-tells-supreme-court/article65655630.ece