HC directs the Central Govt to take a decision on imposing ban on manufacture of plastic national flags on HJS Drive

respectMumbai : Bench of Mumbai High Court with Justice Shri. Abhay Oak and Justice Shri. Girish Kulkarni have directed the Central Government that by 30th November 2014, it should take a decision about imposing ban on manufacture of plastic national flags. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has been undertaking a drive for many years for maintaining honour of national flags but it did not receive any response from the Government; therefore, PIL was filed in the year 2011 that came up for hearing on 29th September. Additional Solicitor General pleaded for Central Government. Advocate Shri. Anand Patil and advocate Shri. Veerendra Ichalakaranjikar 
represented HJS.

The next hearing of this case will be held on 8th December 2014 after Central and State Government’s present their contention. Reasoning presented in Court and orders passed by the Court ……

1. Small children and citizens fly national flags made of paper and plastic; therefore, it will be wrong to file cases against them, was the contention of Central Government. The Court asked what steps the Government proposed to take to see that plastic flags are not manufactured. The reply given by the Central Government wasthey have sought opinion on this issue from all State Governments and union territories and decision would be taken on receiving response from them. The Court gave time limit till 30th November 2014 to Central Government for taking a decision.

2. The State Government had requested the Central Government earlier for amendment in laws so that such ban could be imposed on plastic flags. Both the Governments claimed that they were creating extensive awareness amongst people towards this issue.

3. The Court had advised the Governments to take help of voluntary organizations in this regard and HJS had informed the Government through a letter that it was ready to extend necessary help as a voluntary organization; but none of the departments of the Government had given any response to HJS; in fact, the District Collectors’ offices refused to accept national flags collected by HJS from the roads. The Bench took note of the matter and ordered offices of District Collector and Tehsildar to collect flags collected by HJS.

4. Earlier, the State Government and School Education Department had asked all schools and colleges to give necessary instructions in this context; so also instructed District Collectors to set up committees at district and taluka levels for creating awareness amongst citizens towards this issue.

5. The Court has also ordered that the Central and State Governments should create extensive awareness in this context and take help of even newspapers and electronic media for the same.

Source : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat