The division bench of Justices L Nageshwara Rao
and Heman Gupta
issued notice and sought a response from the poll panel of Election Commission and the Centre through Ministry of Environment and Forest on a plea which seeks to ban use of single use plastic in banners, hoardings and like material used in the election campaigns.
The petition was filed before SC to challenge the decision of NGT’s decision on this issue. The Petitioner pointed out that these banners and hoardings are made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and these materials made from single use plastic are discarded after the election without due care. Such materials are detrimental to the environment and creating a huge menace. PVC is a non-bio-degradable plastic. Hence this issue was originally raised in the petition before NGT, where they tried to explain the when this material is discarded, thrown out or burnt in an unscientific manner, it leads to various adverse effects to the environment. In its judgement NGT passed order directing the Chief Electoral Officers of all the States and UTs and Election Commission of India to comply with guidelines and advisory already issued against the use of plastic be complied with.
Not satisfied with the directions of the NGT, petitioners argued before the SC that the order of NGT was not effective in tackling the issue of curbing use of plastic. They also argued that they are prompted to approach the highest court as its national environmental issue. Author: Parth Thummar