New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday refused to stay adherence of the new e-waste management rules in India by a host of manufacturers of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).

A bench headed by chief justice of Delhi high court, G. Rohini, directed the CFL manufacturers to file an application before the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within the next three months, in accordance with the procedure.

It was also noted that no coercive action would be taken against manufacturers until such time that CPCB was hearing and evaluating the matter.

The court was responding to a plea brought by the Electric Lamp and Component Manufacturers’ Association of India, challenging the Centre’s proposed e-waste management rules, 2016.

The impugned rules, scheduled to take effect from Saturday, require electric lamp manufacturers to conduct disposal of fluorescent and other mercury containing lamps on their end-of-life by collecting them from consumers.

CFL producers like Philips Lighting, Havells India Ltd, Osram India Ltd, Wipro Enterprises, Bajaj Electricals were among those who challenged the rules which were notified on 23 March.

Expressing difficulty in complying with the new e-waste rules, P. Chidambaram, legal counsel for the manufacturers, told the court that it was impossible for them to comply with the new rules which required them to dispose of fluorescent and other mercury- containing lamps at their end-of-life.

“The new rules expect us to go to the purchaser and take tubelights or CFLs when they are intended to be discarded. This would be impossible and the Centre cannot ask us to do this." he said.

The Centre had, however, contended that manufacturers of CFL bulbs were not willing to adhere to the new e-waste management norms in India though they had complied with similar rules in Europe and other countries.

The petition called the impugned e-waste rule arbitrary as extending responsibility on the manufacturers to take back old florescent and other mercury containing from consumers across India to dispose them would put an unconstitutional burden on them.

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