RESEARCH FOUNDATION, SCI., TECH. & ECO. AND ORS. Vs. UNION OF INDIA (UOI) AND ORS.
LAWS(SC)-2016-2-113
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 16,2016

Research Foundation, Sci., Tech. And Eco. And Ors. Appellant
VERSUS
UNION OF INDIA (UOI) AND ORS. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) Heard. In Research Foundation for Science, Technology & Ecology and Ors. v. Ministry of Agriculture and Ors., 1999 1 SCC 655, the Petitioners had approached this Court in public interest for a writ of mandamus directing the Respondent to take action to protect the biodiversity our country in conformity with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and such other Conventions for protection of the biodiversity and for a direction to the Government to challenge the patenting of Basmati rice, if required, in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and/or before the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) created under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
(2.) This Court had after notice to the Respondent-Government of India and after hearing learned Attorney General noted that two legislations, namely, "the Biodiversity Act" and "the Geographical Indicators Act" were in the process of finalisation for being introduced in Parliament. This Court also noted that "Plant Varieties and Farmers' Right Protection Bill" had already been finalised and was likely to be introduced in Parliament during the winter session. This Court also noted the submission of learned Attorney General that various steps required for the amendment of the Patents Act were also under consideration of the Government and that the Government of India was fully alive to the situation and its gravity and was taking all necessary steps to protect the national interest. Having said that this Court agreed with learned Attorney General that the concerns expressed by the Petitioners had been served and the Government had been duly sensitized to the need for taking appropriate action to protect the country's interest Section far as the preservation of bio diversity was concerned. The writ petition was with those observations disposed off as settled.
(3.) The present petition has been filed by the very same Petitioners in which they have prayed for the following reliefs: "A] Issue a writ of mandamus or directions of like nature directing the Respondents to take appropriate action to challenge the patenting of wheat before the European Patent Office at Erhardtstrasse 27, D-80331, Munich, Germany in patent No. EPO 445929 B1 filed vide application No. 9130127. B] Direct the Respondents to set up a permanent department/Committee/Board which shall be competent/responsible to take appropriate actions to protect our biodiversity and file necessary claims/objections relating thereto before various forums all over the world; C] Direct the Respondents to take appropriate action to identify the traditional Indian wheat variety referred to as NAPHAL in western databases and in Monsanto's patent specification before EPO and take steps to rectify/correct the records, if necessary. D] Any other order/orders which this Hon'ble Court deems fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.";


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