Manufacturers go to court over ban on plastic bags

 A plastic manufacturers’ association on Tuesday approached the Delhi High Court challenging the city government’s notification imposing a blanket ban on using plastic bags in the Capital.

A Bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notices to the Centre and the city government and sought their replies by November 23 on a plea by All India Plastic Industries Association (AIPIA) against the October 23 notification.

The notification, which says no person can manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any kind of plastic bag in the city, will come into force on November 23. The court also issued notice to all the civic bodies, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Delhi Cantonment Board and Green Planet Waste Management Pvt Ltd.

“Declare impugned notification of October 23, 2012 null and void being ultra vires to the parent Act, which is the Environment Protection Act and Rules. The notification also violates the fundamental rights of the petitioner,” said the plea by AIPIA.

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for AIPIA, said the city government has exceeded its jurisdiction in issuing the notification.

“The government exceeded its jurisdiction in issuing the notification in haste without deciding the question of legal competence. The issue of jurisdiction is pending before the Supreme Court,” said Nigam.

“The city government in a fanatic pursuit to endorse its predetermined agenda of completely closing down the plastic bags industry brushed aside the objections of the petitioners in an arbitrary and unreasonable manner,” the petition said.

“The notification, banning the manufacturing of plastic bags, will jeopardise the livelihoods of lakhs of people directly or indirectly associated with the plastic bags industry. The business of the petitioner and constituent members will also come to a standstill,” said the petition.

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

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