A Delhi High Court Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad has dismissed PILs filed by toy manufacturers by holding that the pleas were frivolous.

In that context, it was observed that "This Court has failed to understand as to how public interest is involved in the present case. On the contrary, the Order 2020 has been issued in public interest as large number of toys were found to have toxic material, and they were subject to various tests by the QCI. The present PILs are nothing but frivolous PILs. Therefore, this Court does not find any reason to interfere with the Order 2020."

Counsel Rajinder Mathur, among others, appeared for the Petitioner, while Counsel Nirvikar Verma, among others, appeared for the Respondents.

In this case, the petitioners filed a Public Interest Litigation stating that members of the Association were importing Toys manufactured from foreign countries, and they had imported a large number of Toys on or before 01.01.2021. However, on account of a notification dated 25.02.2020, issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, they were not able to sell their toys as the notification made it mandatory that the toys imported by importers should confirm the standard laid down under BIS (Conformity Regulations), 2018, and the toys so imported should qualify the parameters laid down under the quality control orders which have come into force with effect from 01.09.2020.

It was submitted on behalf of the respondents that this action was taken to promote the domestic industry as part of the National Action Plan for Toys and to ensure that substandard toys were not imported.

On careful consideration of the writ petitioners filed and the counter-affidavits of the respondents, the Court observed that "Undisputedly, in order to ensure that sub-standard toys with toxic substances are not sold in the market, a notification has been issued by the Government of India in exercise of powers conferred under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, making it mandatory for the toys manufacturer to obtain a registration certificate under the Act, and the Regulations, 2018."

In furtherance of the same, the Court observed that "The Government of India, keeping in view the fact that large numbers of toys were imported in the country prior to issuance of the aforesaid notification, had granted six months time to the Industry in the matter of implementation of the notification. The documents on record reveal that the impugned notification issued by the Government of India is, in fact, in larger public interest, and the present Writ Petitions are not PILs but personal interest litigation of certain toy manufacturers."

The Court was of the opinion that the toy manufacturers wished to import sub-standard toys into the country, and that by no stretch of imagination could they be permitted to violate the norms fixed by the Government of India. In similar context, the Court said that "The intention of issuance of Toys Quality Control Order is to protect health and safety of children who are normal consumers of toy products, and the Order 2020 has been formulated by the Government of India in consultation with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in the interest of safety of children."

Holding that the PILs were nothing but frivolous, the Court refused to interfere with Order 2020. Observing that the petitioners were unable to make out any case for interference, the petitions were dismissed.

Cause Title: Forever Toy Traders Association v. Union of India & Ors.

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