HC notice to centre, states on cancer-causing agents

Chandigarh, April 8 (IANS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday issued notice to the union government and authorities in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh after admitting a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a ban on cancer-causing agents.

The PIL, filed by activist Hemant Goswami, has sought a ban on “all cancer-causing agents identified by World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)”.

In his petition, Goswami stated: “WHO and its affiliate IARC has, in its over 50 years of research, identified hundreds of agents (carcinogens)… Despite such carcinogens having been clearly identified, the government does nothing and such cancer-causing agents frequently make way to the market… and are used in various industries to which people are exposed, and thereby it has resulted in increased cancer prevalence in India.”

While seeking a ban on all carcinogens, the petitioner sought that suitable arrangements be made to compensate and provide damages to anyone who is exposed to carcinogens at his work-place or otherwise.

The PIL claimed a nexus between government officials and the industry, due to which carcinogens made their way into the consumer market.

“The unholy nexus and collusion between the industry and public servants leads to a situation which results in mortality and morbidity of a large number of people, which is no less than cold-blooded murder,” the PIL said.

–Indo-Asian News Service


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