HC questions Delhi govt on plastic ban

The Delhi HC Tuesday issued notice to the central and city govts on a petition filed by the All India Plastic Industries Association, challenging the govt`s notification imposing a blanket ban on plastics.

Updated: Nov 06, 2012, 15:18 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notice to the central and city governments on a petition filed by the All India Plastic Industries Association (AIPIA), challenging the government`s notification imposing a blanket ban on plastic bags in the capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought a reply from the city government and others in the matter and posted it for further hearing Nov 23, the day the city government is set to implement the notification.

The court also issued notice to all the civic bodies, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Delhi Cantonment Board and Green Planet Waste Management Pvt. Ltd. in this regard.

The AIPIA moved the court challenging the draft notification issued by the Delhi government Oct 23 that imposed a blanket ban on plastic from Nov 23, under which no person can manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any kind of plastic bag in the city.

From Nov 23, all kinds of plastic bags, even those used to cover magazines, books or invitation cards, will not be allowed. Garbage bags will not be allowed too.

However, the ban 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.

Approaching the court, the plastic manufacturers association said: "Declare impugned notification dated 23 Oct, 2012, null and void being ultra vires to the Parent Act, i.e. Environment Protection Act, 1968, and rules framed there under. The notification is also violating fundamental rights of petitioner."

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam appearing for petitioner said the city government exceeded its jurisdiction while issuing notification as only the central government can issue such a notification.

The plea said that 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 predetermined 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 and the business of petitioner and constituent members shall come to a standstill."