New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Monday hear the petition seeking a ban on sale and production of the pesticide Endosulfan across the country.
The petition filed by CPI-M's youth wing Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) would be mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia.
In its petition, DYFI has sought a direction to the Centre to prohibit the sale of Endosulfan in its present form or any other derivatives in the market.
DYFI has submitted that a large section of people was directly affected because of the use of Endosulfan, already banned in 81 countries and its use not permitted in another 12 nations.
The petitioner said several studies had documented that Endosulfan could also affect human development. It gave example of serious health hazards caused in Kerala's Kasargod district.
"Researchers studying children from an isolated village in Kasaragod district have linked Endosulfan exposure to delays in sexual maturity among boys.
Endosulfan is an off-patent organochlorine insecticide and acaricide.
"This colourless solid has emerged as a highly controversial agrichemical due to its acute toxicity, potential for bio-accumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor," the petition said.
It said Endosulfan was the only pesticide applied to cashew plantations in Kasaragod for 20 years and had contaminated the environment there.
The petition assumes significance as Left parties and organisations associated with them have been leading protests in several parts of the country for imposition of ban on the pesticide.
On April 27, a group of Left MPs had held a protest in Parliament House demanding a ban on Endosulfan.
Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan has led the agitation by going on a day-long fast. He has also written to his counterparts in other states to bring combined pressure on the Centre to impose a nation-wide ban on the pesticide.
The government had last week said it would take a view on the issue "in the best interest of the country" after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) submits its report.
"The use of Endosulfan has been banned in Kerala. However, imposing a nationwide ban would require national consensus backed by scientific study," a PMO release had said.
An all party delegation from Kerala had met the Prime Minister on February 22 and urged him to impose a nationwide ban on the pesticide.