Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI). Asbestos Free India campaign of BANI is inspired by trade union movement and right to health campaign. BANI has been working since 2000. It works with peoples movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Non-compliance with Supreme Court's order on ILO compliant rules on asbestos

Editor's Note: The article below is good but errs a bit with regard to Supreme Court's order dated 21 January, 2011. This order reiterated the Court's verdict in Writ Petition (Civil) No 206 of 1986 in 1995 that accepted the well established adverse effects of asbestos. While passing the judgment in the
the latter case, the Court directed all asbestos factories to keep the health records of their workers for 40 years and/or 15 years after their retirement. The second significant direction was the Government of India and the state governments have to mend their rules and regulation as per the resolution of International Labour Organisation (ILO). The ILO says eliminate asbestos of all kinds for elimination of asbestos related-diseases. It also directed that a compensation of Rs 1 lakh be paid to the asbestos victims
In effect, the Court recommended ILO compliant rules to be made by central and State governments to eliminate asbestos of all kinds. The verdict of 27th January, 1995 is the original verdict which was authored by Justice K Ramaswamy. In the 2011 order, this very order has been repeated. Even after 23 years so far there has been no compliance with this order. The report of the Advisory Committee of Labour Ministry which was set up to submit a compliance report is yet to see the light of the day.   

Safe and controlled use of asbestos is not possible. It has not been possible for all the countries which have banned it. It is impossible in India too.

Dr Gopal Krishna 
Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI)

 Asbestos: Still around, still deadly

Although asbestos mining is banned in India, it continues to be imported and used in roofing sheets, insulation and brake linings. On 21 January 2011, the Supreme Court of India banned the use of asbestos in India. The Supreme Court, in the case of Consumer Education and Research Centre v. Union of India [(1995) 3SCC 42)] accepted the well established adverse effects of asbestos. However, the benefits of these enlightened judgements have yet to alter ground realities. Our buildings, and our vehicles continue to use the substance. As do our armed forces, and our railways.

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