HC dismisses plea by Mahyco

HC dismisses plea by Mahyco

In a significant ruling, the High Court on Friday dismissed a petition by Mahyco Monsanto and others seeking to quash criminal proceedings against them, University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS), Dharwad, and others who have been booked for bio-piracy while developing Bt brinjal. 

The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and Bangalore-based Karnataka State Biodiversity Board (KBB) had filed a criminal complaint before the Principal Civil Judge and JMFC court, Dharwad, against Dr R R Hanchinal, Vice Chancellor, UAS, Dharwad, Dr H S Vijaykumar, Registrar, UAS and Dr S A Patil, former Vice Chancellor of UAS. The firm, along with the experts, had moved the High Court.

The complaint was lodged by the authorities, after City-based organisation Environment Support Group (ESG) informed the then union minister as to how the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, was violated by indulging in bio piracy of endemic varieties of Indian brinjal, while developing Bt brinjal. 

ESG had produced evidence that all endemic varieties of brinjal had been accessed by UAS and Mahyco Monsanto and the act of inserting the Bt gene was  undertaken without any consent of KBB and NBA. 

In September 2011, the matter reached the HC in the form of a PIL, seeking to compel the regulatory agencies to initiate action and the KBB and NBA lodged a criminal complaint. But the matter was stayed by the single judge in January 2013. Now, Justice Pacchapure has dismissed the petition seeking to quash the complaint and the proceedings.

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