Vanashakti et al. Against Government of India

WP(C) No. 237/2017
No description
Final judgment
India, New Delhi

Individuals, Environmental NGOs
Vanashakti, Kavitha Kuruganti
Bhushan Prashant

Other, , Fungicide, Methomyl, Dicofol, Dinocap
Banning harmful pesticides in India on the grounds that they cause serious health problems for farmers, farm workers and others living nearby
Supreme Court of New Delhi, India
No description

March 27, 2023
The Union Government shall also file a further affidavit explaining the basis on which action has been taken presently only with respect to three pesticides in the notification dated 2 February 2023, within a period of four weeks from today
No description

On January 23, 2023, the Supreme Court ordered the Solicitor General, Vikramjit Banerjee, representing the Government of India, to submit a report by February 6, 2023, outlining the status of regulatory measures to ban highly hazardous pesticides. The civil writ petition was filed by the NGO Vanashakti to obtain a ban on the use of many pesticides, which has already been imposed in other countries because of the health and environmental risks they pose.

On February 2, 2023, the government notified its draft order banning the manufacture, registration, formulation, import, transport, sale and use of three substances: dicofol, methomyl and dinocap. Anupam Verma, the Ministry of Agriculture had however proposed a ban on 27 pesticides, including the three mentioned above, through a notification issued on May 18, 2020.

On March 27, 2023, the Supreme Court reviewed the proposed order. It asked Vikramjit Banerjee to explain why only three of the 27 pesticides were banned. He justified the government's choice on the basis of the safety of the pesticide evaluation process and the specific climatic conditions in India, which are different from those where these substances are banned. The Supreme Court ordered the Government to place on record the two reports by expert committees on the 27 harmful pesticides. It also ordered the government to file an affidavit explaining the basis on which action was taken on only three pesticides within four weeks. The next hearing will be held on April 28, 2023.

According to PAN India, the 27 pesticides (11 insecticides, 9 fungicides, and 7 herbicides) represent less than 10% of the pesticides used. Therefore, banning these 27 pesticides would have no impact on the country's food security and agricultural production.