A plastic manufacturers' association today approached the Delhi High Court challenging the city government’s notification imposing a blanket ban on 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, under which no person can manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any kind of plastic bag in the city, will come into force from November 23.
The court also issued notice to all the civic bodies, Delhi Pollution Control Committee
(DPCC), Delhi Cantonment Board and Green Planet Waste Management Pvt Ltd.
According to the notification, from November 23 all kinds of plastic bags, including those used to cover magazines, books, invitation cards, will not be allowed. Garbage bags too will not be allowed.
The ban, however, 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 as well as plastic cups, largely used by tea vendors, are also allowed.
The plea by plastic manufacturers' association said, "Declare impugned notification of October 23, 2012 null and void being ultra vires to the parent Act,
i.E. The Environment Protection Act and Rules framed thereunder. The notification also violates the fundamental rights of the petitioner."
Senior advocate Arvind Nigam appearing for the petitioner said the city government has exceeded its jurisdiction in issuing the notification.
He said, "The government exceeded its jurisdiction in issuance of the notification in haste without deciding the question of legal competence and 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 brushed aside the objections of the petitioners in arbitrary and unreasonable manner," the petition said.
It added, "The notification, banning the manufacturing of plastic bags would jeopardise the livelihoods of lakhs of people directly or indirectly associated with the plastic bags industry and the business of petitioner and the constituent members shall come to standstill."