Published: Saturday 15 June 1996

The Supreme Court of India came down heavily on the government for its failure to stop the import of hazardous chemicals. Passing strict orders on the environment ministry on May 10, the court warned that it would declare that the government machinery had broken down if it does not clamp down on unlicensed traders importing hazardous chemicals into the country by July 1996. The court was shocked to know that only four out of 139 traders dealing in hazardous chemicals had licences. The rest had not even applied for a licence. The court observed that senior officials of the ministry appeared to be encouraging the violation of law.

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