A bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar 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.
The bench passed the order after senior advocate Krishna Venugopal apprised the court of a petition filed by CPIM's youth wing, Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), seeking a ban on production and sale of the controversial pesticide and sought its urgent hearing.
In its petition, DYFI has sought a direction to the Centre to prohibit the sale of Endosulfan in its present form or any other derivatives in the market.
DYFI has submitted that a large section of people was directly affected because of the use of Endosulfan, already banned in 81 countries and its use not permitted in another 12 nations.
The petitioner said several studies had documented that Endosulfan could also affect human development. It gave example of serious health hazards caused in Kerala's Kasaragod district.
"Researchers studying children from an isolated village in Kasaragod district have linked Endosulfan exposure to delays in sexual maturity among boys. Endosulfan is an off-patent organochlorine insecticide and acaricide.
"This colourless solid has emerged as a highly controversial agrochemicals due to its acute toxicity, potential for bio-accumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor," the petition said.
It said Endosulfan was the only pesticide applied to cashew plantations in Kasaragod for 20 years and had contaminated the environment there.