The court order came on December 1 in a public interest litigation filed by emerging lawyer Priyansha Gupta, a BA (LLB) third-year student from Bennett University.
In its ruling, the court asked why, despite a notification banning the manufacture and use of plastic bags in the country, it is still being used in the state.
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Priyansha argued in her petition that “Rajasthan was declared a plastic-free zone in 2010. However, 11 years later, plastics still make up a large portion of the state’s garbage dumps.” However, Rajasthan has not yet properly enforced the ban.
Before filing her petition, Priyansha went around the city of Jaipur documenting the amount of problems. He took pictures of plastic bags, suffocating drains and garbage dumps on the streets. He also studied the reports submitted by the Rajasthan government on the implementation of the Centre’s Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Finally, with all the documents ready, Priyansha filed her application in the Rajasthan High Court on 5 October. He himself has presented arguments in this case.
“I went to court for the first time and as a petitioner-in-person, I was so nervous, so-so, that I could only hear my heartbeat while arguing and nothing else,” Priyansha said.
He had reason to be nervous. Additional Solicitor General RD Rastogi, representing the Union of India, argued on behalf of the government in the case, along with Shri Anil Mehta, AAG.
The argument lasted for 20 to 25 minutes.
Priyansha’s efforts paid off as a two-judge bench ruled in her favor on December 1.
In its order, the court directed the state of Rajasthan to comply with the notifications and impose a complete ban on plastic bags.
Priyansha, a fifth-generation lawyer in her family, now wants to take up other issues of public interest. This includes the use of green cigarettes by young people for which they have no warning and the service charges imposed by the restaurant on the customers.
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