Polythene Ban: HC Seeks Appearance Of Top Officials

J&K High Court – File Pic

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has sought personal appearance via video conferencing of top officials of various departments for failure to submit action taken report regarding prohibition on polythene in ecologically fragile J&K.

“In terms of orders dated 23rd of October, 2020 and 10th of November,2020, we have passed certain directions to the respondents-authorities to file the action taken reports in the matter. As per the report of the Registry, no such report has been filed by any respondents,” a bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta said in an order.

“In view of the above, the Secretaries to Government, the Secretaries to Government, Jammu & Kashmir Housing & Urban Development Department; Tourism Department; Environment and Forest Department; Floriculture Department; Chief Executive Officers Pahalgam Development Authority, Gulmarg Development Authority, Sonamarg Development Authority and Patnitop Development Authority shall remain present through Video Conferencing,” the court said and posted the matter, a public interest litigation, for further consideration on December 1.

On October 23 and November 10, the High Court had asked the authorities to notify the public regarding the prohibitions and fines for carrying such material in ecologically fragile J&K and Ladakh.

“A direction is issued to the Home Department, J&K State Pollution Control Board, Tourism Department, Floriculture Department, Environment and Forest Department and Housing and Urban Development Department to prepare proper publicity material which shall be posted in the electronic / print media as well as displayed on signages at all prominent places in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh ..notifying the public regarding the prohibitions and disclosing the liabilities which shall flow to the vehicle/owners for carrying such prohibited material including the financial liabilities/fines,” the court had said.

The court had passed the order while hearing an application seeks release of a vehicle (Truck) carrying prohibited material including polythene.

“Inasmuch as Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is an ecologically fragile area especially the tourism spots and the prohibition on polythene required to be strictly enforced, it is essential that the respondents give due publicity of the prohibition and apprise all vehicle owners and the public at large about the legal position,” the court had said.

Meanwhile, the court directed Senior Superintendent of Police Kathua to remain personally present through Video Conferencing regarding the related matter.

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