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Quintals of Explosive Ammonium Nitrate Lying in Rajasthan Police Stations: HC Seeks Plans for Disposal

File Photo of Rajasthan High Court.

File Photo of Rajasthan High Court.

A bench took suo moto cognisance of news reports, which said the occasional seizures of ammonium nitrate has resulted in quintals of the explosive substance lying in various police stations in the state without any precautionary measures.

The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to chalk out a plan for the disposal of quintals of seized Ammonium Nitrate lying in various police stations and posing the danger of a Beirut-like explosion. A Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court gave the direction observing that “Ammonium Nitrate is a valuable resource and this explosive material should be utilised constructively".

A bench of justices Sandeep Mehta and Prabha Sharma intervened, taking suo moto cognisance of news reports which said the occasional seizures of Ammonium Nitrate has resulted in quintals of the explosive substance lying in various police stations in the state without any precautionary measures. One such report had claimed that 15,300 kg of the chemical had been lying in a police station in Udaipur alone following a seizure.

The court took a serious note of the report in the wake of a massive explosion in Beirut last month, caused by the same explosive chemical and the trail of devastation left behind it. Taking cognizance of the reports, the bench had earlier issued notices to the Explosive Controller, state police chief, additional chief secretary (Home) and Udaipur superintendent of police, asking them to apprise it of the quantity of seized Ammonium Nitrate and other explosive substances lying in various police stations across the state.

The bench had also asked officials to suggest measures to dispose of the explosive materials expeditiously. But during the hearing on the day, the authorities asked the bench to grant them more time to collect the data, following which the judges granted them one more week and also asked them to chalk out a plan for disposal of the explosive materials by e-auction. During the day's hearing, the court's amicus curies apprised it of various orders of the NGT and Custom authorities for disposal of Ammonium Nitrate seized in Tamil Nadu and kept at various places in Chennai in a similar situation.

The bench took the amicus’s submission on record and listed the matter for next hearing on September 9.

first published:August 25, 2020, 21:33 IST