Bennett University student files PIL on plastic bag use, wins case | India News

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NEW DELHI: A Bennett University law student’s quest to free the streets of Jaipur from the threat of plastic waste paid off when the Rajasthan High Court ordered the Center and the Rajasthan government to ensure the strict application of the Centre’s plastic waste management rules, 2016; and the state government rules on plastic waste published in 2010.
The court orders were issued on December 1 in a public interest litigation filed by aspiring lawyer Priyansha Gupta, a third-year BA (LLB) student at Bennett University.
In its ruling, the court asked why, despite the notification banning the manufacture and use of plastic bags in the country, they were still used in the state.
Priyansha, in his petition, argued that “Rajasthan was declared a plastic-free zone in 2010. However, even after 11 years, plastic was a significant part of the state’s garbage dumps. In 2016, the Center under plastic waste management rules banned single-use plastic bags. However, Rajasthan has still not properly enforced the ban.
Prior to filing her petition, Priyansha toured the city of Jaipur to document the extent of the problem. She took pictures of plastic bags littering the streets, clogging drains and clogging landfills. She also researched reports filed by the government of Rajasthan regarding the implementation of the Centre’s plastic waste management rules, 2016.
Finally, ready with all the documents, Priyansha filed her petition on October 5 in the high court of Rajasthan. She also chose to advocate the case herself.
“I went to court for the first time and being the petitioner in person, I was very nervous, so much, that while arguing that I could only hear my heart and nothing else,” Priyansha said.
She had reason to be nervous. Additional Solicitor General RD Rastogi, representing the Union of India, along with Mr. Anil Mehta, AAG, argued the government’s case.
The arguments lasted 20 to 25 minutes.
Priyansha’s efforts paid off when the two-judge panel ruled in her favor on December 1.
In its order, the court ordered the state of Rajasthan to comply with the notifications and enforce a total ban on plastic bags.
A fifth-generation lawyer from her family, Priyansha now wants to address several other issues of public interest. These include the use of green cigarettes by young people who don’t even have a warning on them, and service charges levied by restaurants on customers.
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