The Karnataka High Court dismissed a writ petition challenging the notification issued by Government of India imposing quality control on the import of polyethylene and aims to bring in quality usage by necessitating a seal of the BIS at the stage raw material.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna observed “If the product under the programme “Make in India” is sought to be exported under the tag “Made in India” quality insistence from the threshold would ensure that the final product would meet all the necessary global standards.”

Advocate N. Raghavendra Rao represented the petitioner, while DSGI H. Shanthi Bhushan appeared for the respondents.

The Department of Chemicals and Petro Chemicals of the Union of India issued a quality control order, requiring polyethylene to adhere to the standard mark under a license from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as per Schedule I and Schedule-II of the Bureau of Indian Standards (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018.

The petitioner contended that such a clause will hinder the free movement and sale of raw materials, potentially creating a monopoly in the industry. The Court held that these submissions were untenable.

The Court rejected the petitioner’s argument that there is no nexus with the production sought to be achieved by imposing quality standard on a raw material by calling it ‘preposterous’ and stated that “If quality is not in the raw material, it is ununderstandable as to how it can be found in a finished product. If raw material lacks quality it is trite that the finished product would be sub-standard.”

The Court pointed out that “the contention that it would lead to cartelization or monopoly by one industry is farther from truth”

The Court observed that “Quality control in plastic manufacturing always refers to process of monitoring and inspecting various stages of manufacturing process to ensure that the final plastic products meet certain standards of quality. Therefore, every raw material now that is sought to be brought under BIS is only to make it a quality final plastic product, for it would not become hazardous to the environment and be of use to the general public and meet health and safety standards including food conduct regulations, as they are widely used in every walk of human life.

After noting that “a Judge in terms of his inputs, cannot assume the role of a supreme adviser to the administration on policies governing innumerable activities of the State, particularly in today’s context of over-expanding horizons which come into the ken of such policy making,” the Court did not quash the impugned notification.

Subsequently, the High Court dismissed the writ petition.

Cause Title: All India HDPE/PP Woven Fabric Manufacturers’ Association v. The Secretary, Government of India & Ors.

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