Total Prohibition Of Plastic Carry Bags To Achieve The Larger Public Interest In The Interest Of Environment: MP HC Upholds State Amendment [Read Order]

Total Prohibition Of Plastic Carry Bags To Achieve The Larger Public Interest In The Interest Of Environment: MP HC Upholds State Amendment [Read Order]

May be; the Central Government, considering the conditions prevailing in the country has taken steps for minimization of plastic waste but if the State takes steps to eliminate the plastic waste, such Act cannot be said to be irreconcilable to the Central law.”

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has upheld total prohibition of plastic carry bags in the state.

The bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla dismissed writ petitions challenging the total prohibition brought vide Madhya Pradesh Jaiv Anaashya Apashishta (Niyantran) Sanshodhan Adhiniyam, 2017, contending that it is repugnant to the Central Rules which permits carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic of not less than 50 microns in thickness. The bench also rejected the contention that the said amendment is beyond the legislative competence of State Government in view of Rule 4 (c) and (d) of the Plastic Wastes Management Rules, 2016.

The bench held that State Act is not in contravention of the Central Rules but puts more stringent conditions than what is permissible under the Central Rules to eliminate the use of plastic bags which has a larger public interest involved.

“May be; the Central Government, considering the conditions prevailing in the country has taken steps for minimization of plastic waste but if the State takes steps to eliminate the plastic waste, such Act cannot be said to be irreconcilable to the Central law. Therefore, within the State, both the Central law and the State law can be read harmoniously, as the State law is a step forward than what has been prohibited by the Central Law,” the bench added.

The court also observed that the State Law is to achieve the larger public interest in the interest of environment for the benefit of the public at large whereas the Central Rules deal with the business interest of the manufacturer of the plastic bags and between the two, the larger public interest is required to be preferred.

Dismissing the writ petitions, the bench said: “The State Act prohibits manufacturing, storage, sale and use of plastic carry bags in the interest of environment whereas the Central Rules permit to carry on the business of manufacturing, storing and selling of various plastic and polythene items. Therefore, the Notification published under the State Act prohibits manufacturing, storage, sale, transportation and use of polythene bags whereas the Central Rules regulate the manufacturing, storage and selling of plastic bags. Thus, the scope of the two provisions is different and that there is no inconsistency between the two statutes. Still, further, the Central Rules permit carry bags of 50 microns or more and the Notification under the State Act prohibits the carry bags is reconcilable. The manufacturer is required to obtain permission to manufacture plastic bags in terms of the Central Rules whereas the State Act prohibits the manufacture, transportation, storage, use and sale of the plastic bags in the State. The State Law is to achieve the larger public interest in the interest of environment for the benefit of the public at large whereas the Central Rules deal with the business interest of the manufacturer of the plastic bags and between the two, the larger public interest is required to be preferred.”

Read the Order Here