Pesticide Regulations, Cases and Foreign Direct Investment in India
India’s pesticide manufactures approximately 60 technical grade pesticides being manufactured indigenously by around 125 producers and more than 500 pesticide formulators consisting of large and medium scale enterprises (including 10 MNCs) spread across the country.
The Insecticides Act, 1968
- The Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticides Rules, 1971 regulate the import, registration process, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides (pesticides) with a view to prevent risk to human beings or animals and for all connected matters, throughout India.
- Before they can be made available for use or sale, all insecticides undergo the registration process with the Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee.
Pesticides Management Bill, 2008
- The Pesticides Management Bill, 2008 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on October 21, 2008.
- The Bill seeks to regulate the:
- export and
- sale of pesticides to control pests,
- ensure availability of quality pesticides and minimize contamination of agricultural commodities with pesticide residue.
- It repeals the Insecticides Act, 1968.
- The Central Government shall constitute a Central Pesticides Board to advise the Central and State Governments on matters related to the lawThe Central Government shall establish a Registration Committee
- The Bill also mentions the procedure to be followed by the pesticide inspector in commission of his duties. It also states that the pesticide analyst shall furnish his report within 45 days
The Registration Certificate:
The Registration Certificate mandates that a label be put on the packaging, which clearly indicates the nature of the insecticide (Agricultural or Household use), composition, active ingredient, target pest(s), recommended dosage, caution sign and safety precautions. Therefore, a pesticide labelled for agriculture should not be used in a household.
Registration of Pesticides
- Any person desiring to manufacture or import or any insecticide shall apply to the Registration Committee.
- On receipt of such application, the Committee will make an inquiry and will conform to the claims made by the importer and after payment of a fee.
- If the Committee is of opinion that the precaution claimed by the application involves serious risk to human beings or animals, the application shall be refused.
- An appeal against any decision be made to the Central Government in the Department of Agriculture.
- And be accompanied by a treasury challan as a proof of the payment of relevant fee and a copy of the decision appealed against.
- Online registration facility is also available to aid the applicant wherein the applicant needs to put in his PAN number to prove his credibility.
Banned Pesticides in India
- The CIB & RC scrutinizes and periodically reviews all pesticides and their usage – some are banned from registration itself.
- Sometimes a pesticide can be banned even after registration when it causes serious environmental and public health concerns.
- Some pesticides are meant for Restricted Use which means that they can be used only for prescribed purposes and by authorized personnel by obtaining the appropriate Government license.
In the chemical sector 100% FDI is permissible. Manufacture of most chemical products inter-alia covering organic or inorganic, dyestuff & pesticides is relicensed.
Following items are covered in compulsory licensing list because of hazardous nature:
- Hydrocynanic Acid & its derivatives
- Phosgene & its derivatives
- Isocynates & Di-isocynates of hydrocarbon
If a foreign entity wishes to undertake / carry out business activity in India then it would require prior approval from Foreign Investment Promotion Board in addition to the compliance of laws relating to pesticides.
State of NCT of Delhi versus Rajiv Khuran
In the case where liability was concerned, it was held that if the Accused is the Managing Director or a Joint Managing Director, it is not necessary to make an averment in the complaint that he is in charge of, and is responsible to the company, for the conduct of the business of the company and other officers of a company cannot be made liable under sub-section (1) of Section.
State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal
Court gave Inflexible guidelines or rigid formulae and to give an exhaustive list of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power in the act concerning pesticides, should be exercised in case:-
- Where the allegations made in the first information report
- Where the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused of the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint.
- If the allegations in the FIR constitute only a non-cognizable offence and do not constitute a cognizable offence.
- Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.
Kerala Samsthana Chethu Thozhilali Union V. State Of Kerala And Others
The court held that the export-import policy being a subordinate legislation and the Insecticides Act, 1968 being a plenary legislation, the subordinate legislation cannot violate the provisions of the plenary legislation insofar as under the plenary legislation, viz., the Insecticides Act, 1968, when boric acid is used for purposes other than as an insecticide, no registration is necessary or is contemplated.