The High Court of Madras in southern India has ordered that forty containers of hazardous municipal waste imported from the US be shipped back. The waste had been lying unloaded at a port in Tamil Nadu for three years, following objections by the Customs authorities. A division bench of the Madras High Court on Friday rapped ITC Limited for importing the “undesired cargo”. The court directed the company to clear out the waste at its own cost and slapped a litigation cost of Rs 50,000. The judges also asked the Centre to initiate civil and criminal proceedings against officials who “masterminded such illegal ideas” within a period of 12 weeks.
After it returned to Tuticorin, a single judge bench passed a consent order and appointed a committee to inspect and suggest a solution. However, in November 2007, when the committee recommended re-export of 35 containers to the US, the company preferred to appeal, leading to Friday’s judgement. “Having received an undesired cargo from Evergreen, ITC should have shunted it back to the US only... why did ITC send the cargo to Ajman without even informing the US company?” the judges wanted to know. Slamming ITC for negligence, the judges asked it to clear the garbage and hand over empty containers to a Tuticorin-based company.
Article from: Indian High Court Orders Hazardous Municipal Waste to be Shipped back to U.S., medindia.com, November 23, 2008