Time to tell all: The Delhi High Court has issued notices to various departments and functionaries of the Union and Delhi governments on a public interest litigation seeking to ensure that manufacturers of tobacco and alcoholic products disclose the list of ingredients on product packets. Replies to the notices have to be filed by July 20, 2005, the next date of hearing in the case. The Centre says the requirement can be made mandatory for tobacco products' manufacturers under Section 7 of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003. But the provision hasn't been notified. The court wanted to know why.
Newmont's in trouble: Indonesia's Supreme Court has declared legal the investigation carried out by the country's police against five officials of PT Newmont Minahasa Raya, a subsidiary of US mining giant Newmont, over allegations of causing heavy metal poisoning in the country's northeast. The verdict is a green signal for the trial in the US $528.1 million civil lawsuit to proceed. It overrules the December 2004 verdict of a south Jakarta district court that pronounced the investigation illegal (see Down To Earth, 'Let off for now', January 31, 2005). Court spokesperson Hasbi Yunda said the court also ruled that the "police can now continue their interrogation and investigation of their cases".
Sandalwood verdict: On March 30, 2005, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to shut all sandalwood oil factories and survey all sandalwood trees in the state's forests. The state's Forest Department told the court that all the 33 sandalwood oil units have been closed down. It also promised to survey the trees. The order was issued on a public interest litigation filed by environmental group Nature Conservation Society. Sandalwood trees are classified as reserved.
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