Madras High Court: In a review application seeking compliance for disposal of plastic wastes and other items that are likely to cause pollution to the environment and usage of alternatives, the division bench of S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha, JJ. directed all the officials to implement in letter and spirit the directions issued by the Government periodically to achieve a plastic-free society.
In the current order, the Court noted that the status report submitted by the respondent, suggested intensive steps being taken to bring awareness about single-use plastics (“SUP”) amongst the public in the form of meetings and setting awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, merchant’s associations, trader’s associations, local bodies, etc. Further, a campaign styled ‘Meendum Manchapai’ has been initiated at eliminating SUP carry bags along with declaring Koyambedu Market Complex a plastic-free zone.
The Court noted that the report indicated that raids are also being conducted in various zones within Greater Chennai Corporation in keeping with the earlier directions of the Court. Further, the Central Pollution Control Board informed all the states to carry out intensive activities with a focus on street vendors, flower sellers, local markets, and inspection of the concerned industries to ensure enforcement of the SUP ban.
The Court appreciated the efforts of the respondent in making a directory of Manufacturers and Suppliers of Eco-alternative Materials for SUP in Tamil Nadu, and noted that this directory is first of its kind in the country, which not only shows various eco-friendly alternative materials in lieu of SUP but also gives details of manufacturers/retailers in each district of Tamil Nadu.
Earlier, the Court instructed the Bar Council and Bar Association to ensure that the premises is plastic-free -, but it viewed that after the Bar Council enrolment ceremony was conducted, the place was littered with SUP, garlands, papers, etc. Therefore, the Court instructed the Bar Council to hold the enrolment ceremony with only the candidates attending the function, without obstructing the free movement inside and outside the Court premises as well as the public road. Further, it directed the bar council to provide the Court with rules with reference to the smooth conduct of the ceremony and ensure strict compliance with the rules, and further directed it to submit a report for the same.
It also directed for issuance of notice to secretaries of the Madras Bar Association, Madras High Court Advocates’ Association, Law Association, and Women Lawyers’ Association office bearers for making an appearance on the next hearing date.
The matter will next be taken up on 01-11-2022
[Tamil Nadu Pondy Plastic Association v. Government of Tamil Nadu, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 5081, decided on 20-10-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner: Advocate R. Saravanakumar, Advocate E. Veda Bagathsingh, Advocate K. Vijayaragavan, Advocate J. Raja Rao;
For Respondent: Advocate V. Jayaprakash Narayanan.