'Ought to earmark airport in N India for flower import'

One airport could have been designated in north India for import of flowers: HC

The bench directed the Centre to decide the representations moved by the association within 8 weeks of receiving the order copy from the court and disposed of the plea

 Representative Image. Credit: PTI Photo

The Delhi High Court on Friday said the Centre ought to have earmarked one airport in north India for import of fresh flowers instead of designating only the Chennai airport for importing flowers for the entire country.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said it was only "a question of accommodation" and the government ought to keep in mind that businesses should not be hampered in the prevailing pandemic situation.

"Where there is a will, there is a way. Tell your officials that," the bench said to the counsel representing the government.

The observations came during hearing of a plea moved by an association representing traders of fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables challenging a July 9 notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) permitting import of flowers from the Chennai airport only.

They said they had made representations to the government before approaching the court, but no decision was taken.

The bench directed the Centre to decide the representations moved by the association within 8 weeks of receiving the order copy from the court and disposed of the plea.

The court said the government will keep in mind the plight of the association members and that there should be a rationale basis for issuing such a notification, when it is taking a decision on the representation.

"In the prevalent situation, ensure that no one's business is hampered," the bench said to the government.

Earlier there were no such restrictions on import of flowers which include roses, carnations, orchids, chrysanthemums and lilies, the association's petition had said.