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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Supreme Court Supports Delhi’s Ban on Green Firecrackers

The Supreme Court on Friday said no to the manufacture and sale of green firecrackers “for the time being,” rejecting a petition requesting the manufacture and usage of barium-based firecrackers. The Delhi government’s decision to forbid the use of firecrackers in the nation’s capital prior to the Diwali holiday was not challenged by the court.

The court further stated that all authorities must properly enforce the 2018 ban.

After carefully considering the case last week, a panel of justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh deferred the order.

Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Senior lawyer for the petitioners, begged the court to list the matter as soon as possible, to which the bench responded, “We can only say happy Diwali.” The court ruled that the order is only applicable to applications from manufacturers who are jointly represented by the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA) and who have agreed to abide by the green cracker formulations that have been approved by the two expert bodies, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), as well as Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), which regulates them.

Manoj Tiwari, a leader in the Bharatiya Janata Party, filed one of the lawsuits in 2022, objecting to the blanket ban on firecrackers during Delhi’s Diwali celebrations. The court raised the issue of their jurisdiction over the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at the hearing last week and stated that one must have faith in fundamental institutions.

Aishwarya Bhati, an additional solicitor general who represented the government at the hearing, said the court that although barium was banned on the government’s proposal, it was only for the 2018 Diwali.

The court observed that anything in Delhi, whether green or not, is currently prohibited. Bhati further informed the court that since 2016, no permanent permission for firecrackers has been provided by the Delhi Police. She also informed the court that all permanent licences for the manufacture of fireworks had been cancelled and that police would be inspecting all licensees’ locations.

The court stated that authorities must get to the source of these crackers in order to punish them, rather than just penalising those who fired the crackers.

The Supreme Court made it clear in 2021 that there was no general prohibition on the usage of fireworks and that only those that include barium salts were prohibited.

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Source: HT

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