The Supreme Court on Monday extended the stay on the commercial release of Genetically Modified (GM) Mustard crop till further orders as the matter did not reach the board for hearing. The apex court, which on October 7 had restrained the commercial release of the crop for ten days, said the stay would continue and the matter will be heard on October 24. The court, at the last hearing, had asked the Centre to seek public opinion on such seeds before releasing it for cultivation purpose, even as government approval is awaited. A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justice A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud accepted the request of the counsel appearing for the petitioner.
During the last hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta agreed that no commercial release of the seeds will be done till October 17 and views and suggestions of the public should be taken and put up before the appraisal committee before releasing them. Mustard is one of India's most important winter crops which is sown between mid-October and late November. Mehta said the Centre needed to reply to the petition and refuted the allegation that sowing of the seeds was being done without relevant tests.