SC directs Union and States to consider prohibition of use, sale and disposal of Plastic bags [Read Judgment]
It is evident that the situation is very alarming, the Bench said.
Directing the Union and State Governments to consider prayers in a Writ Petition filed by Karuna Society for Animals & Nature, seeking prohibition of use, sale and disposal of plastic bags in all municipalities and municipal corporations, the Supreme Court has observed that ‘the situation is very alarming’.
The Apex Court Bench comprising of Justices V. Gopala Gowda and Adarsh Kumar Goel also directed the Governments to take all necessary steps in the matter, by constituting committees consisting of competent persons who have got sufficient knowledge on the subject matter and also to set up an appropriate monitoring mechanism in the matter.
The Society, which filed a Writ petition in the Apex Court, submitted before the Apex Court that, the use of plastic by the residents, which is often consumed by the animals adversely affects their digestive tract resulting in their death and post-mortem of such dead animals will be conducted ultimately polluting the whole of the areas where the public residents are residing thereby the public residents would suffer on account of unhygienic conditions that would prevail in the area.
The Society had sought for the following directions from the Apex Court to Central and State Governments, Municipalities and other authorities,
- To Prohibit the use, sale and disposal of plastic bags in all municipalities and municipal corporations
- To prohibit and / or to phase out in a time bound manner the “open garbage disposal system” and to remove open garbage receptacles;
- To implement door to door garbage collection and to ensure that waste storage facilities are built and managed such that animals are not allowed to move around in the vicinity of such facilities;
- To require segregation of all plastic waste across the municipal solid waste collection and disposal chain/systems;
- To provide animal shelters, rescue homes and veterinary services for stray cattle to provide amelioration for suffering animals.
The Court observed: “it is evident that the situation is very alarming but it is not for this Court to monitor the functioning of concerned authorities & local authorities to see that the areas of the local self-government are not polluted. Accordingly, we direct the Union of India and the State Governments to consider the prayers in the petitions and take all necessary steps in the matter in accordance with law by constituting committees consisting of competent persons who have got sufficient knowledge on the subject matter. The Central Government may also set up an appropriate monitoring mechanism in the matter. In our considered view the respective regional Natural Green Tribunal benches can monitor and regulate the cases by passing / giving orders or directions to all the concerned statutory authorities and local self-governments in the country for discharge of their constitutional and statutory duties.”
When this Writ petition came up for hearing in November 2014, the Bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India, Justice HL Dattu, rapping the State Governments for their inaction in banning the use and manufacture of plastic bags in their States, had observed, “Imagine the pain and suffering of animals. You sit in AC rooms and say that you have framed regulations. Is there any seriousness on the part of the state governments to implement the rules and laws? How much does it cost to print statute?”
Recently, Live Law had reported a Kerala High Court order in a public interest litigation, filed by Kerala River Protection Council has, banning the burning of the plastic and rubber waste in public places.
Read the Judgment here.