SC pulls up State for failing to ban plastic

SC pulls up State for failing to ban plastic

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Karnataka government, and summoned its principal secretary, to explain their failure to enforce the ban on use of plastic, which posed environmental hazard and also endangered lives of cattle.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice H L Dattu asked advocate V N Raghupathy, representing Karnataka, to explain why a meeting of the committee to oversee the implementation of Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 had not been convened for the last two years.

The court expressed its dissatisfaction with the affidavit filed by the state in March this year. “So far as state of Karnataka is concerned, no meeting of the committee overseeing the implementation of rules took place since July 8, 2012. Mere constitution of a committee is not sufficient. They have to find ways and means to ensure implementation of the rules,” the bench, also comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and A K Sikri, ruled.

The court was examining the state-wise response on the implementation of the rules banning use of plastic, following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Karuna Society for Animals and Nature. The NGO argued that plastics were a threat to stray cattle, which consumed them while foraging for food. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the NGO submitted, “The situation in Karnataka is appalling. There is absolutely no effort to segregate waste to prevent innocent cattle from coming in contact with plastic bags.”

The NGO submitted photographs taken at Domlur village, Doddenekundi and K Kamaraj Road in Bengaluru to buttress its point that animals were swallowing plastic, posing grave danger to their lives. The bench questioned the counsel how many times he had visited those places in Bengaluru.

“When did you last visit the city? In which part of the city has the ban been implemented?” the bench sought to know. The court gave two weeks time to Karnataka, the Centre and other states to file affidavits detailing the steps taken to enforce the plastic ban.

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