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The National Green Tribunal has refused to modify its direction banning spray of disinfectants in aircraft while passengers are on board saying there was no “apparent error” in its earlier order. A vacation bench headed by Justice U D Salvi declined to review its August 2015 order and junked the submission that spraying of Permethrin insecticide in the plane while the passengers are onboard does not cause harm to human health.
“Considering the scope of the Review proceedings under Order 43, Rule 1 of Civil Procedure Code, we are of the view that we do not find any mistake or error apparent on the face of the record and there is no ground justifying the review for modification of the order as solicited by the applicant.
“Moreover, the review application has been belatedly filed much beyond the time prescribed under rule 22 of the National Green Tribunal Rules, 2011,” the bench, also comprising expert member P C Mishra, said.
The order came on a plea filed by IndiGo Airlines which had moved the NGT against its order banning spray of disinfectants in aircraft while passengers are onboard.
The no-frills airline had sought modification of the August 3, 2015 direction to Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure that no disinfectant fumigation is carried out in plane if any person is sitting inside.
It had contended in its plea that there is a spiralling increase in dengue and malaria cases with the onset of monsoons and due to the “blanket” ban they were not able to take any step for protection and safety of passengers.
Heeding to the plea of a US-based neurologist Dr Jain Kumar, the tribunal had directed the Centre to ensure that no disinfectant fumigation is carried out in aircraft while passengers are onboard.
Kumar had contended that spraying of pesticides on planes with chemicals like phenothrin, an organo-phosphorus neurotoxin, was injurious to human health as their use carries risk of causing cancer and auto-immune diseases like lupus, Parkinson’s disease and memory loss.
According to the petitioner, while all other airlines have stopped spraying of pesticides, this practice is prevalent in all Indian airlines operating internationally.