Firecracker regulation not against a specific festival or community: Supreme Court

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While hearing a petition alleging violation of the order banning the use of certain dangerous chemicals and exceeding safe limits in fireworks by manufacturers, the Supreme Court observed today that ‘she was not against any particular festival or community, but she could not allow others. playing with the citizen’s right to life under the guise of powers.

While focusing on the implementation of its previous ordinances, the bench of Judges MR Shah and AS Bopanna remark, “We are not against any particular party or celebration, but we cannot allow others to play with the right to life of others under the guise of celebration”

The Supreme Court has also expressed its intention to pass an order directing the CBI to investigate cases of manufacturers selling fake green crackers.

“No one can be allowed to sell fake green crackers,” the bench noted.

Courtroom exchange

When the case was called to the hearing, lead lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan appearing for the applicants asked the court to first deal with the application in which the Supreme Court had issued an opinion.

At this point, Judge Shah said orally: “When the earlier firecracker ban was passed, it was passed after giving reasons. Not all crackers were banned. It was in the wider public interest. It should not be foreseen that it was banned for a particular purpose. Last time, we said that we do not hinder enjoyment, but we cannot hinder fundamental rights.

Senior lawyer Dushyant Dave, representing the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Primer Manufacturers Associations (“TANFAMA”), argued that no one was asking for the judgment to be reviewed and even the association wanted the full implementation. implementing Supreme Court orders.

“Can we say that pleasure can come at the cost of the lives of others? Also today we can see that crackers are sold in the market. We said last time that there should be some responsibility on the part of those who had to implement the order. No one should believe that this order or this order is against such and such, and we have not banned firecrackers 100% ”, Judge Shah added.

During the hearing, Senior Counsel Gopal Sankaranarayanan informed the Court of the order dated October 23, 2018, in which the Supreme Court issued various instructions regarding the firecrackers. He further argued that all of the alleged violators had filed their rejoinders and further filed separate requests for the ban on barium nitrate to be raised.

“The issue here is their liability. They have no explanation as to why they were using barium,” the senior lawyer added.

He further drew the Court’s attention to the prayers of the claim in which one of the remedies sought was to ban manufacturers who sell crackers on orders that they are green.

“They sell anything under the label that it is green”, added the senior lawyer while submitting that the barium ban was not only affirmed by the Ministry of the Environment, of Forests and Climate Change, but even manufacturers are aware of it.

“Lawyer, in our country, even QR codes turn out to be fake. What can we do ? be allowed to do so, ”Judge Shah noted.

While adjourning the case for October 29, 2021, Judge Shah said that after Diwali, the judiciary would take up the stubble burning issue.

“The firecracker issue is only for now. But the main issue related to the thatch burning is pending and we don’t have time to deal with it. After the holidays we will also hear this issue,“remarked Judge Shah.

Background

On October 6, 2021, the Supreme Court observed that its previous firecracker regulation orders must be followed by every state.

On September 29, the court expressed strong reservations that the preliminary investigation report submitted by the joint director of the Chennai Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found that six firecracker makers based in Tamil Nadu were using barium and barium salts. in the manufacture of firecrackers in express violation of the Court’s ban on the use of such chemicals.

On March 3, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the respondent manufacturers M / s Standard Fireworks, M / s Hindustan Fireworks, M / s Vinayaga Fireworks Industries, M / s Shree Mariamman Fireworks, M / s Shree Suryakala Fireworks and M / s Selva Vinayagar Fireworks, with the exception of Respondent # 5, to explain why they should not be punished for contempt of court for the alleged violation of previous orders of this Court.

“If the above allegations are true, then there is no doubt that the respondent manufacturers would be in contempt of this Court. », Noted the judiciary.

Instructions were also given to the Joint Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Chennai, to conduct a detailed investigation into the alleged violation of prior orders of this Court by the aforementioned manufacturer-respondents using ingredients which have been banned and mislabelling their products contrary to the instructions of this Court as set out in this application & submitting a report to the Court within six weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of the order.

On October 23, 2018, the High Court ruled against a total ban on firecrackers, but said only less polluting green crackers can be sold, also only through licensed traders. The court had banned the online sale of firecrackers, banned e-commerce sites from selling it, fixed the duration of firecrackers bursting and ordered that firecrackers can only be burst in designated areas.

On February 10, 2017, Magistrate Madan B Lokur and Judge Prafulla C Pant ordered the respondents, including manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, to provide the name and address of the manufacturer as well as the name and address of the person responsible on any firecracker sold in box / cardboard to hold the person responsible in case of violation of any of the provisions of the law.

Case title: Arjun Gopal & Ors v. Union of India & Ors| Write Petition (s) (Civil) No (s). 728/2015


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