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"The bio-medical waste must be properly managed and disposed of to protect the environment as well as the general public, who are at the risk of exposure to bio-medical waste," the bench said
In a case concerning the unauthorized disposal of bio-medical waste from Kerala to Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court has emphasized the necessity for amendments to the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act, 1982 (Preventive Detention Act).
While taking note of the submission that the Advocate General of Tamil Nadu had given a positive opinion to bring the violator of the bio-medical waste Management Rules, 2016 under the definition of 'Goonda', the bench of Justice KK Ramakrishnan said,
"To implement the Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, steps are being taken by the Tamilnadu Government through appreciable, in the interest of the environment and to prevent the health hazard, the Government is expected to take necessary steps to bring an amendment to suitably deal with the person transporting the medical waste from the Kerala State to the Tamilnadu State."
The bench said that it is the right time to book the violators of the bio-medical waste under Act 14 of 1982 by bringing proper amendment to Act 14 of 1982.
The order was passed in a Criminal Revision Petition filed by the State Government represented by the Sub-Inspector of Police, Alangulam Police Station, Tenkasi District under Section 397 r/w 401 of CrPC, to call for the records and to set aside the order of the Judicial Magistrate Court, Alangulam.
The Judicial Magistrate Court had granted the interim custody of a vehicle, that had been seized by the police for alleged unauthorized dumping of bio-medical waste, to its owner.
The case of Police was that it filed a case against one RS Rajeesh and other accused for the offence under Sections 294(b), 353, 506(ii), 269 & 270 IPC r/w Rule 4 of the Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Rule 8 of Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
The allegation against the accused persons was that in May this year, they transported the bio-medical waste from Kerala State and dumped into Kuruvankottai village in Alangulam-Tirunelveli Road, as against Rule 8 of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Rule 4 of Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and when the defacto complainant questioned them, they criminally intimidated and caused obstruction in his duties.
"The bio-medical waste must be properly managed and disposed of to protect the environment as well as the general public, who are at the risk of exposure to bio-medical waste," the bench said.
Court stressed that despite the restriction that bio-medical waste shall not be kept stored beyond a period of 48 hours, the accused persons transported the bio-medical waste with huge quantity.
"...hence, the learned trial Judge committed error in granting the custody of the vehicle to the respondent," the court held.
Accordingly, the court allowed the police's Criminal Revision Petition with the above mentioned directions.
Case Title: State v. R.S.Rajeesh
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