Maharashtra Pollution Control Board



) informed the Nagpur bench of

Bombay high court

on Friday that it would initiate legal and criminal proceedings against


and its owner,


, if it failed to remove advertisements for the sale of

nylon manja

from its page “


MPCB’s oral submission came after counsel for Facebook and Meta failed to reply on steps taken to curb the sale of the thread that has claimed many lives.

Maharashtra has banned nylon manja, but clandestine sales continue due to lax policing. MPCB’s submission is also significant as the kite-flying season is currently on with Makar Sankranti approaching.
Earlier, a division bench comprising Justices Nitin Sambre and Abhay Mantri slammed Facebook and Meta after their lawyers failed to arrive on time for the hearing. They arrived late even after being granted an adjournment. Consequently, the judges orally chided them that the court doesn’t function as per their convenience. The bench also asked both respondents why action should not be initiated against them for failure to comply with court directives to remove nylon manja advertisements.
During the hearing of a suo motu PIL, amicus curiae Deven Chauhan highlighted lack of regulation on sale and purchase of manja despite the product being used across the nation during Makar Sankranti. Chauhan appealed to the HC to bring manja products under the ambit of the Bureau of India Standards (BIS) so that only Indian Standard Institute-mark manja is available for sale.

While adjourning the hearing to January 17, the court allowed the amicus to amend the petition by adding BIS and the Union consumer affairs ministry as respondents in the PIL after which both would be issued a court notice to file replies.

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