Millennium Post

HC refuses to stay Delhi govt’s ban on plastic bags

The Delhi high court refused on Friday to stay the city government’s notification imposing a blanket ban on plastic bags in the capital from Friday.

A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw declined to entertain senior advocate Arvind Nigam’s submission on behalf of plastic manufactures for direction to the government to not to implement the ban.

The bench, however, said it would dispose of the matter within few days and posted it for hearing on 27 November.

The court was hearing the All India Plastic Industries Association’s (AIPIA) plea against the Delhi government’s October 23 notification, imposing a blanket ban on the usage of plastic bags from 23 November.

According to the notification, no person can manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any kind of plastic bag in the city.

From Friday all kinds of plastic bags, even those used to cover magazines, books or invitation cards, will not be allowed. Even garbage bags will not be allowed too, as per the notification.

The ban, however, will not affect the use of plastic specified under the Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.

Plastic used to pack food products such as milk, cooking oil, flour bags and plastic cups largely used by tea vendors will be allowed.

The plastic manufacturers association sought the court to ‘declare impugned notification dated 23 October 2012, null and void being ultra vires to the Parent Act, i.e. Environment Protection Act, 1968, and rules framed thereunder.’

The petitioners contended that the notification also violated their fundamental rights.

They had earlier told the court that the city government exceeded its jurisdiction while issuing the notification as only the central government could have done it.

The plea said the government acted in ‘haste without deciding the question of legal competence’ while issuing the notification. It claimed that the issue of jurisdiction is pending before the Supreme Court.

‘The Delhi government in a fanatic pursuit to endorse its pre-determined agenda of completely closing down the plastic bags industry in arbitrary and unreasonable manner, brushed aside the objections of the petitioners,’ said the plea.

The petition said, ‘The notification, banning the manufacturing of plastic bags would jeopardise livelihoods of lakhs of people directly and indirectly associated with the plastic bags industry.’
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