State Act prohibiting the use, sale and manufacture of plastic would prevail over Central Rules as the former involved President’s assent: M.P. High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A 2-Judge Bench comprising of Hemant Gupta, CJ., and Vijay Kumar Shukla, J., addressed four writ petitions having similar issues. These petitions challenged notification issued by the State Government prohibiting the manufacturing, storage, transportation, sale and use of the plastic carry bags in the entire State.

Petitioner sought relief to hold that the amendment to Section 3 of Madhya Pradesh Jaiv Anaashya Apashistha (Niyantran) Adhiniyam, 2004 is beyond the legislative competence of State Government in light of Rule 4 (c) & (d) of the Plastic Wastes Management Rules, 2016.

Petitioner contended that State amendment is repugnant to the Central Rules. According to the central rules, only a certain type of plastic was allowed whereas the State law prohibited the complete use, sale, manufacture of plastic. Whereas respondent contended that in accordance with Article 213 of Constitution of India, State is competent to enact State Act under Entry 6 of List II of Seventh Schedule but as the amendment sought to be made will affect freedom of trade and commerce granted under Article 304 (b), previous sanction of president had been taken.

The High Court observed that State Act is a step ahead of the Central Rules by prohibiting the complete use, sale, or manufacture of plastic whereas Central Rules aim to minimize the use, sale and manufacture of plastic thus State Act is not irreconcilable with the Central Act. Therefore, both the acts can be read harmoniously. High Court further approved the reasoning given by NGT in Goodwill Plastic Industries v. Union Territory of Chandigarh, 2013 SCC OnLine NGT 2000.  Therefore, the Court found no merit and dismissed the petition. [Popular Plastic v. State of M.P., WP No. 8182 of 2017, Order dated 06-09-2018]

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