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Delhi High Court will hear a PIL seeking a writ to direct Delhi Govt officials and Commissioner of Police for publication of Guidelines for flying kites, banning the Chinese string.

The PIL Mohit Ghalyan v GNCT Delhi has also demanded an ‘action taken’ report if and when the government implements the same.

The Delhi govt technically has banned Chinese strings three years ago but the petitioner has demanded the Delhi govt take steps to generate awareness in the public about the ban and also take steps against sellers and buyers of the item. Keeping the ban “restricted only to papers,” the Delhi govt has manifestly failed to discharge their constitutional and statutory obligations. The banned manjha is also sold online and no efforts were made to monitor the same.

The petition informed the court that the Chinese Manjha string has caused direct grievous injury to petitioner on 15th August as also caused harm to the extent of deaths of birds, and men of all ages. Apparently the Metro Blue Line in Delhi-NCR too was affected on 16th August 2019 for 90 minutes owing to a technical snag involving kite strings.

Kite flying is a symbol of celebration in various Indian festivals. While the traditional Saddi string is safer and also eco-friendly, Chinese Manjha is sharp and non-biodegradable, thus also choking drains when people leave large lengths of thread scattered after kite-flying. This year’s Independence Day observed a steep rise in the number of deaths of birds as reported in figures in newspapers.

The petition filed through Advocate Rishi Pal Singh, also urges the court to rely on Article 48A of the Constitution which states that “the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.”

The petition submits that right to enjoy a festival under Article 21 should not be at the cost of Human Lives, Environment, Birds and State Property.

Ghalyan has in his petition claimed the Chinese Manjha is hazardous substance under Section 2(e) of Environment Protection Act, 1986 as it both pollutes and kills.

Ghalyan seeks directions of court to the Delhi govt to publicize Kite string selling guidelines and further issue guidelines to Delhi Police Cyber Cell to monitor online websites selling Chinese Manjha.

It also seeks directions towards the Commissioner of Police to file report on action taken in the incidents of death of persons and birds as also on arrest of offending sellers since the past three years of the ban.

–India Legal Bureau

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