The Supreme Court today directed six companies to pay Rs 39 lakhs to the custom department for incineration of containers containing waste oil, illegally imported from abroad.
A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and D Y Chandrachud said that earlier too, the apex court has directed the incineration of such containers in 2005 and 2014 when 113 and 212 containers were respectively destroyed.
It said some companies had not paid the amount to the customs department for destroying these oil containers dumped on the Indian shores.
Advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for NGO Research Foundation for Science, told the bench that this waste oil was illegally mixed with lubricants and other materials causing health and environmental hazards.
He said the waste oil contained chemicals which could contaminate the environment affecting the human beings as it contain mixtures of hydrocarbons, emulsions and other toxic substances.
The bench said that cost should be recovered from the managing directors of these companies, irrespective of whether they are subsisting or not.
The apex court gave six weeks time to the companies to deposit the amount with the custom department for the purpose.
Parikh said that the import of waste oil into India had been prohibited by the apex court since 1997.
During the hearing, the bench told the counsel for customs department that it does not need the court’s direction for recovering the cost for incineration.
The counsel pointed out that several companies which have imported the waste oil have now been liquidated or do not have any property.
To this, the bench said that in such cases, the managing directors will have to pay the cost as they cannot shift the liabilities to the companies.
Earlier, the apex court had appointed a monitoring committee to oversee the destruction of such containers after a Dehradun-based laboratory had found that the substance was toxic in nature. MNL ABA SJK RKS ARC
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