Not averse to celebrations, but not at cost of life, says SC

New Delhi, Oct 6 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday emphasised its earlier orders pertaining to the regulation of firecrackers must be complied by every state, as it noted that under the cover of green crackers, banned articles are being used by firecracker manufacturers.

A bench of Justices M.R.

Shah and A.S. Bopanna said: "Our earlier order must be complied with by every state."

The bench noted that despite a specific ban on crackers, with certain chemical compositions, if one were to visit any city or any celebration, they would be found openly available in the market.

It emphasised that it is not averse to celebrations but not at the cost of life of other citizens, and further added that celebrations does not mean use of loud crackers, and can also be with "fuljhaddis" (sparklers), which are not noisy.

Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for petitioner Arjun Gopal, submitted that they have filed an additional affidavit on the basis of the CBI report and referring to the report, added that what has transpired is very disturbing.

In a preliminary enquiry report, the CBI found that banned harmful chemicals have been used by manufacturers in several crackers.

The report also claimed that firecracker manufacturers were also not disclosing the correct ingredients on the labels of the product.

Citing its order pertaining to regulation of firecrackers, the bench reiterated that its order must be complied with.

"It (firecrackers) is being sold openly in the market and used by people. We would like to know if a ban is there, how come they are available in markets," it asked.

The bench said the difficulty is in implementing the orders issued by it, and cited the manufacturers' reply.

"What they say is very surprising. They say that when they are found to have purchased a huge quantity of barium salt, it is to be kept in godown (storage facility) but not to be used for manufacture," it said, noting that the manufacturers are not keeping these chemicals for "a show" in their storage facility.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the association of manufacturers association, submitted that the industry should work as per the protocol issued by the government.

"It is an organised industry.

Around five lakh families depend on us...," he said.

Another counsel contended that the entire industry cannot be penalized, if one or two manufacturers are violating the order.

The top court has posted the matter for further hearing on October 26.

Earlier, the top court had said the CBI report on use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing of firecrackers is very serious and "prima facie" that there has been violation of the court's orders on use of barium and labelling of fireworks, citing that Hindustan Fireworks and Standard Fireworks have purchased barium in huge quantities and apparently used these chemicals in fireworks.

On September 29, the top court had issued show cause notice to 6 manufacturers, and sought an explanation why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them, and also why their licenses cannot be cancelled.

On March 3, 2020, the top court had directed the Joint Director, CBI at Chennai to make a detailed investigation and submit a report on manufacturers, who are using ingredients which have been banned and also mis-labelling on the products.



Source: IANS