HC's warning to officials over plastic ban, asks them not to harass traders

HC’s warning to officials over plastic ban, asks them not to harass traders

The Madras High Court today once again refused to stay the ban on single-use plastic products. It has also instructed the authorities concerned to not needlessly harass traders in the guise of the plastic ban.

The traders have been alleging that the officials, confused over the G.O, indiscriminately confiscated all plastic items which are not listed in the annexure of the June 25 G.O.

The bench of Justices M M Sundresh and Krishnan Ramaswamy gave them direction while passing orders on a batch of PIL petitions from the affected traders. Except the 14 items listed in the GO, other plastic items should not be seized, the bench said and added that the traders should not be coerced.

The bench heard a batch of petitions filed by 50 small retail plastic manufacturers belonging to the Tamilnadu Plastic Manufacturers Association.

In their petition, they sought a court’s direction to cancel the Tamilnadu government’s ban on plastic or at least grant them an exemption and allow manufacture of plastic packing products.

However, the judges refused to lift the plastic ban and also refused to issue an exemption to plastic packing products. The petitioners also argued that the Tamilnadu government authorities were harassing them and their customers after the plastic ban. The plastic manufacturers said that the authorities implementing the ban did not have a complete understanding of the government order and the list of banned items mentioned in it.

The Tamil Nadu government has banned a set of disposable plastic products since January 1 and the officials are conducting surprise checks and seizing the banned single-use plastic items from the traders.