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Friday, June 2, 2023

Apex court admits plea pertaining to classification of Odomos

A bench of the SC (Supreme Court) headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar recently admitted a plea asking the court to decide a matter pertaining to the classification of Odomos. The apex court was to decide whether Odomos cream must be classified as insecticide or medicaments under the GST law.

Only in January this year the Allahabad High Court had upheld the Appellate Authority’s decision to classify Odomos as a mosquito repellant. That the apex court of the country spends time hearing pleas that are best left to GST councils or some tribunal when crores of important cases are pending is neither desirable nor acceptable.

Additionally, this was a Special Leave Petition which was ultimately dismissed by the court. That the court would even admit such a ridiculous plea is in itself unimaginable. However, the apex court has time and again admitted pleas and PILs (Public Interest Litigations) that range from silly and audacious to outright ridiculous.

Earlier the Supreme Court bench led by none other than the CJI (Chief Justice of India) himself admitted a petition regarding tree felling and even questioned the need for straight roads. It is not just the time of the courts but also the financial costs imposed on the exchequer due to such frivolity.

It is high time the courts in general and the country’s apex court, in particular, spends its time productively and on important matters leaving the decision as to whether mosquitoes merely get confused due to application of Odomos or are repelled and killed by it to tribunals and other quasi-judiciary bodies. The apex court must limit itself to deciding on constitutional matters alone.

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