SC issues notice on plea against Kerala in endosulfan case

Petition says the State has not disbursed compensation to the victims

Published - February 24, 2022 11:41 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice on a petition seeking contempt action against Kerala for not disbursing ₹5 lakh each as compensation to the victims of endosulfan pesticide exposure.

A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud noted the submission made by Kasaragod resident Baiju K.G. that the State had not acted despite orders from the apex court in January 2017 and July 2019. The counsel for the petitioner said the State had taken "no steps for compliance".

The court issued notice, returnable in four weeks.

In fact, in its January 2019 order, the apex court had directed Kerala to release the entire undisbursed compensation to all the affected persons within three months. It had observed in the order that the State could recover the compensation either from the industry concerned or from the Government of India.

The petitioners had highlighted that the unnamed, forgotten victims continued to be in dire straits despite the Supreme Court order of January 2019.

In January 2019, Kerala government had claimed that it had earmarked over ₹180 crore for payment of compensation to victims, some of whom were terminally-ill from the effects of the pesticide which was being aerially sprayed on cashew plantations adjoining habitats where the victims lived.

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