The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre's response on a petition seeking ban on the sale of endosulfan pesticide across the country.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia issued notice to the Centre and asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to remain present on the next date of hearing on May 11 to assist the court.
Senior advocate Krishna Venugopal, appearing for the petitioner Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), requested the court to have an urgent hearing of the PIL.
The petitioner wants a complete ban on the production and sale of the controversial pesticide. It has sought a direction to the Centre to prohibit endolsulfan's sale in its present form or any other derivatives.
It submitted that a large section of people was directly affected due to the use of endosulfan. The pesticide is already banned in 81 countries and its use is not permitted in another 12 nations.
The petitioner said several studies had documented that endosulfan could affect human development. It cited example of serious health hazards caused in Kerala's Kasaragod district.
It said endosulfan was the only pesticide applied to cashew plantations in Kasaragod for 20 years and had contaminated the environment there.