The Justice Department urged a federal court yesterday to reject the A.H. Robins Co. plan to emerge from bankruptcy so long as the company refuses to name those responsible for the Dalkon Shield disaster.

"The court must be certain it does not leave an incompetent management, or management with an indecent lack of care for the human consequences of its decisions, at the controls of this large pharmaceutical company," Assistant U.S. Attorney S. David Schiller said in a 28-page objection to Robins' disclosure statement describing its plan of reorganization.

Schiller told the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond that Robins' dislosure statement, in violation of the Bankruptcy Code, lacked the "adequate information" that would enable creditors to make an informed judgment on the reorganization plan and enable the court to assess whether retaining the present management was "consistent with public policy."

Schiller represents the Internal Revenue Service, which has a $62 million claim against Robins. Other creditors include tens of thousands of women who say they were harmed by the Dalkon Shield, an intrauterine contraceptive device. It was "the injuries and deaths caused by the Dalkon Shield" that drove Robins to file for Chapter 11 protection two years ago, Schiller pointed out.

"It is not the creditors' burden in the face of the debtor's {Robins'} silence to determine which individuals ... . should not be continued in place," or "to guess who gave the orders or failed to act responsibly," Schiller said.

Joining Schiller in urging the court not to confirm the plan were the Dalkon Shield Claimants Committee, the committee representing future claimants, and the International Dalkon Shield Education Association (IDEA), which represents 500 users.

For the claimants committee, attorney Murray Drabkin said the disclosure statement "does not even inform ... . claimants of the total number of their claims," and conceals from them that their claims would be subject to a permanent cap and that "claims against officers, directors, and others involved with the Dalkon Shield would be forfeited."

He also said the statement "makes it impossible for claimants to determine how their claims will be affected by the plan," includes contingencies that "may delay interminably both confirmation and consummation of the plan," and "discriminates unfairly between Dalkon Shield claimants, who are not guaranteed payment in full, and other unsecured creditors, all of whom are to be paid in full."

On behalf of IDEA, the Public Citizen Litigation Group said the disclosure statement violates the "adequate information" rule by being "utterly confusing and unclear" for the 327,000 women -- many of them foreigners -- who have filed notices of possible claims.

Public Citizen attached affidavits from four well-educated persons who said the statement baffled them: Alan B. Morrison, its director and a graduate of Harvard Law School; one Dalkon Shield victim who has a master's degree in business from Harvard; another Shield victim who has two master's degrees, and a literacy expert who rated the statement "off the charts" for unreadability.

The plan was prepared mainly by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meahger & Flom, Robins special bankruptcy counsel and one of the nation's largest law firms. Skadden, Arps did not respond to a request for comment.

Judges Robert R. Mehrige Jr. and Blackwell N. Shelley, who will decide whether to confirm the plan, have set July 21 for a hearing on the disclosure statement.

Schiller and Drabkin both quoted at length from the recent decision in which the Kansas Supreme Court, unanimously affirming a record $7.5 punitive-damages award to a Dalkon Shield victim, said that none of the state's appellate courts had ever "been presented with corporate misconduct of such gravity and duration."

In his objection Schiller said, "To leave in management those who would knowingly sell unsafe and ineffective drugs or medical devices, who would actively deceive regulatory governmental agencies, or who would hide 'ostrich-like', head in the sand, from bad news and do nothing to prevent further injuries and death would do violence to public policy and the public interest."

Robins' management of the Dalkon Shield "raises grave doubts that these anonymous managers should be entrusted by this court with the newest medical technologies," Schiller said.

Meanwhile, Robins faces a deadline of 6 p.m. today to act on a merger proposal made by Rorer Group Inc.