Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) works for Asbestos Free India inspired by trade union leader Purnendu Majumadar. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. For Details:1715krishna@gmail.com, oshindia@yahoo.in

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NGO, not a genuine litigant

SC asks NGO to respond to allegation of links with overseas companies

On 27 August, the Supreme Court directed an NGO, which had filed a PIL in 2004 seeking a complete ban on use of asbestos in the country, to respond to the allegation against it of having links with an overseas steel company.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the NGO Kalyaneshwari to file an affidavit in this regard.

Earlier, on August 13, the Supreme Court had asked the government to examine the allegations against a Kolkata-based NGO having connection with a private overseas steel company.

During the hearing, advocte Krishna Mani, appearing for the NGO, submitted that the government may take action against it but the issue of use of asbestos in the country is very genuine and should be heard by the court.

"What action may be taken against the NGO should be taken, it should be taken but the issue is genuine and it should be heard by the court," he said.

The NGO has come under the scanner of the apex court after it was told that the Gujarat High Court had passed an adverse remark against it by saying that the NGO was not a genuine litigant working in public interest.

"We would like to know from the Centre whether the petitioner NGO is in the list of the NGOs maintained by it and being funded by it," the court had said.

It had also asked Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval to look into the issue and issued a notice to the NGO saying that "it will examine the case in detail".

The court asked the government to examine the allegations against a Kolkata-based NGO having connection with a private overseas company. The NGO which filed a PIL in 2004 seeking a complete ban on use of asbestos in the country, has come under the scanner of the apex court after it was told that the Gujarat High Court had passed an adverse remark against it by saying that the NGO was not a genuine litigant working in public interest.

"We would like to know from the Centre whether the petitioner NGO is in the list of the NGOs maintained by it and being funded by it," a Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justice K S Radhakrishnan said.

It asked Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval to look into the issue and issued a notice to the NGO saying that "it will examine the case in detail".

The Bench made it clear that for the time being it was not arriving at any decision and would like to hear the NGO. When the matter was called for hearing, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves informed the bench about the Gujarat High Court order which had on December 9, 2004 made observations indicating that the NGO had some connection with a company.

The Bench expressed concern and asked "how can we control this type of situation"?
"Is it funded by the government? Why it should be declared black listed?" the Bench said asking the Additional Solicitor General to find out whether the NGO was being funded by the government or not.

After pointing out the issue, Gonsalves and other advocates, appearing for the NGO, sought permission of the court to withdraw from the matter, which was allowed.

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