SC orders pesticide payout

New Delhi, Jan. 10: The Supreme Court today ordered the Kerala government to pay Rs 500 crore within three months to over 5,000 people who lost family members or suffered deformities and other health complications from the use of endosulfan pesticides.

A bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar also expressed the hope that the government would consider the “feasibility of life-long treatment” for such victims.

After paying the compensation to 5,227 people, the court said the state “was at liberty to take necessary measures to recover” the sum from the Union government “through appropriate proceedings”. The Centre had cleared such pesticides.

The order by the bench, also comprising Justices N.V. Ramana and D.Y. Chandrachud, came on a PIL by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI). The CPM’s youth wing had filed the plea in 2012, complaining about the adverse effects of endolsufan and its extensive use by farmers across the state despite it being banned globally because of the health risks it posed.