Calls for strict monitoring while packaging
The Supreme Court has allowed the exports of 1090.596 MT of technical grade endosulfan for which export orders were received prior to the ban on May 13. But it has reiterated its earlier order, banning the use, sale and production of the pesticide.
The decision on the remaining unused endosulfan will be taken on October 10.
The three-judge bench headed by the chief justice S H Kapadia, directed the manufacturers to take precaution while packaging the banned pesticide so that it can be safely exported and no contamination is caused between the packaging point and the port. It also asked the manufacturers to adhere to all the rules of the country the pesticide was being exported to. If the exported endosulfan finds its way back into the country through imports, it would be the responsibility of the manufacturer then, the bench added.
The bench also asked the manufacturers to get a certificate of registration from the competent authority before actual export of material. Harish Salve, the counsel of the endosulfan manufacturers, brought to the notice of the court that re registration of the manufacturers will take some more time and exports would suffer. The court then restored the registration of manufacturers cum exporters, which was cancelled following the May 13 ban on production, sale, use and export of endosulfan. But the court reiterated that the registrations will be valid only for export of the 1090.596 MT of endosulfan that has been allowed by the apex court.
The apex court ordered strict monitoring of packaging which will be guided by rule 35 of the Insecticides Act (Rules) of 1971 and will be carried out under the supervision of officers of the customs commissioner, officers of the Central Insecticides Board and an officer of the state environment ministry. Moreover, after proper packaging, the manufacturer will forward the consignment to the concerned port from where it will be exported in accordance with the Insecticides Act (Rules). Custom officers would have to check that there is no tampering with the seal put at the place of manufacturing.
The court made it clear that the ban on production, sale and use of endosulfan as ordered on May 13 stands till further orders. The court will now meet on October 10, when an order on the way forward without endosulfan is likely to be given. The joint committee is supposed to give alternatives to endosulfan which can be used safely by farmers.