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Court refuses to stay plastic ban in Delhi


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court refused to stay the Delhi government’s notification imposing a blanket ban on plastic bags, which was implemented Friday.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw declined the submission made by plastic manufactures to not implement the ban and said the bench would pass the order within a few days.

The court posted the matter for Nov 27.

The All India Plastic Industries Association (AIPIA) had moved the high 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 Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.

Plastic used for packing 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 thereunder. The notification is also violating fundamental rights of petitioner.”

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for the petitioner, had said the government exceeded its jurisdiction while issuing notification as only the union government could issue such a notification.

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 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.”