Pesticide industry body loses defamation case against CSE, twice
The Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI), a pesticide industry body, has twice lost the defamation case it filed against Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi. CCFI had been pursuing the case against a study done by CSE highlighting the endosulfan poisoning of residents of Padre village in Kasaragod district, Kerala. After CSE’s study government scientific institutions had confirmed this and endosulfan use had been banned in the state by Union agriculture ministry.
CCFI had initially filed a criminal defamation case at the Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Bandra, Mumbai in 2006. In 2008 the learned magistrate rejected their complaint saying that the specific case was not defamatory. Then, CCFI challenged this order by filing a criminal revision application in the court of honourable Sessions Court. In June 2008, the Learned Sessions Judge also rejected their application saying that CSE’s report was not of defamatory nature. Significantly all through this, CSE and several of its staff including the director, despite being a party to the case were unaware of these criminal proceedings.
Now the federation has filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court and finally CSE has been made aware of this case. The Honourable High Court has rejected the CCFI's appeal for an expeditious hearing and the case will come up in normal course.