Published on: June 28, 2022, at 17:35 IST
The Bombay High Court rejected a plea by a social worker questioning the legality of updated regulations that forbade the use of plaster of paris (PoP) in the creation of idols for Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri.
The plea by Ajay Sadashiv Vaishampayan said that the 2010 guidelines issued by the CPCB on idol immersion, were sufficient and ban on PoP idols was not necessary.
After observing that the NGT had already made a ruling and that the Supreme Court had already affirmed it,aa Bench consisting of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik dismissed the PIL.
In May 2020, the CPCB issued revised guidelines that forbade the manufacture of PoP Ganesh idols. The petition was filed to overturn this decision.
Vaishampayan emphasised that a ban on PoP idols was unnecessary and that the recommendations from 2010 were sufficient for environmental preservation.
His argument was that the altered rules violated Articles 14, 19, 21, and 25 of the Indian Constitution.
He also pointed out that Plaster of Paris had not been declared a polluting or hazardous substance in the Environment Protection Act and argued that CPCB does not have the legislative competence to declare it as a pollutant and ban its use in idol making.
The Petition requested that the updated rules be set aside and that the CPCB and Department of Environment and Climate Change be instructed to investigate the components of PoP and Shadu clay and to research their effects on both contaminated and unpolluted water.