Bag of woes: Was study done before ban on plastic bags, HC asks govt

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Delhi government to explain if any study was done before banning manufacture and use of plastic bags in the city.

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the government counsel to appraise it by the next date of hearing as to how the authorities can impose a total ban on manufacture of plastic bags.

"Unless you say the plastic manufacturing industry is hazardous, how can you ban the manufacturing of plastic bags?" it said.

"What is the study you have done before imposing the ban?" the court said and asked the counsel to place before it on December 11, the next date of hearing.

The bench also asked: "can you impose a total ban? What would be the effect on manufacturing industry if you ban it?,"

To this, the government counsel told the court that if they (plastic manufacturers) do not have market here, how can they manufacture the plastic bags in the city and their licence with regard to manufacture of plastic bags have been cancelled.

The court said that when plastic plates, bottles and spoons are allowed, why only carry bags are banned. "What study have you made? Plastic is plastic weather it bags or bottles or spoons or plates," the court also said.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by All India Plastic Industries Association challenging the Delhi government notification of October 23 that imposed a blanket ban on plastic bags from November 23 under which no person could manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any kind of plastic bag in the city.

During the hearing, senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for the plastic manufacturers, said the state government exceeded its jurisdiction while issuing the notification on plastic bag ban as only the central government was empowered to do so.

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