New Delhi: Communal issues cannot be raised in the garb of environmental concerns, the National Green Tribunal has said while junking a plea for banning the use of Christmas trees and prohibiting the making of Santa Claus costumes.
The green panel, however, asked the Delhi government to ensure that there is no violation of environment laws and no pollution is caused due to the festivities.
"We do not see any dispute arising about the relevant provisions of Environment (Protection) Act...Law is the same for everyone without any discrimination on basis of caste, creed or religion.
"However, communal colour is being given in the name of schedule-I Act to the apparent grievances raised in the present application. We hope and trust Delhi government shall ensure implementation of Schedule I of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010. Hence, dismissed," a bench headed by Justice UD Salvi said.
The order came on a plea filed by a religious group Ojasvi Party seeking directions to the Delhi government to prohibit the use of Christmas trees to save the environment from degradation claiming it involved plastic. It had sought a ban on the making of Santa Claus dresses to save wool and cotton from being wasted.
The petition had also sought prohibition on noise pollution which may be caused due to bursting of crackers on the eve of New Year and the use of loudspeakers after 10 pm.
A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer like pine or fir or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas.