A plastic bags manufacturer who lost business after the controversial ban has scaled up its fight for a compensation of Sh2 billion against the government.
Hi-plast has filed an application in which it now wants the high court to enter judgment against the government for failure to make an appearance or pleadings for the case for compensation.
“We pray that the court grants us leave since inspite of proof of service the defendants have defaulted in entering appearance and has further failed to file any appropriate defence,” lawyer Eddy Orinda said.
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He urged that the foregoing situation has precipitated the need to file the application under certificate of urgency and should be heard and determined expeditiously.
“The suit herein was instituted before court on March1, 2018, subsequent to the filing original summons were dully issued by the court to which end the same were fully served upon the defendants”, the suit papers reads.
According to Orinda, the state actors including NEMA have neglected or refused to act despite knowing that the matter is alive in court.
“To date the government has net entered appearance or filed papers in opposition of the suit in court and that is why we have sought leave before the judge seeking authorization for judgement in default of the application we had made earlier”, Orinda said.
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In a case Hi-Plast had earlier sought an order to quash the gazette notice by the Ministry of Environment, banning the manufacturer and use of plastic bags.
Imposing the ban
The high court deleivred a judge net in a separate case filed by Kenya Association of manufactures(KAM) in which the it lost.
Hi-plast director , Mahesh Dodhia, in suit papers says the ban has caused him unimaginable losses, having invested heavily in machinery and raw materials as well as defaulted on loan repayments.
Already he is facing liquidation and had expected that his suit in which he raises the issues if compensation would be merged with the KAM one but this was not done.
Dodhia says in a sworn statement that the ministry should have at least engaged the stakeholders before imposing the ban, which would have helped mitigate the losses.
“The petitioner’s loans were to be repaid solely based on sales projection that were hinged on month on month output and sales of its products which are now deemed illegal,” the company’s lawyer Orinda says..
The firm also claims that the declaration of the ban and its implementation came after manufacturers were granted inadequate and unreasonable notice.
Hi-Plast accuses the ministry of disregarding a parliamentary committee’s call for the shelving of the gazette notice leading to the ban.
Dodhia further accused the ministry of abetting other manufacturers, whom he claimed continue to produce plastic bags.
He added that the ban seems to have been effected to prop up the businesses of friendly manufacturers, a move he terms discriminatory and malicious.
He stated that at time the Gazette Notice was published in March 2017, the company had already shipped in raw materials.
The case will be mentioned on July 2.