SC to pass orders on sale, use of firecrackers in Delhi on September 22

Bench had said that filing cases against persons bursting crackers during festivals like Deepavali may not be the solution

September 22, 2023 02:10 am | Updated 08:48 am IST - NEW DELHI

Representational image

Representational image | Photo Credit: Siva Saravanan S

The Supreme Court on September 22 is scheduled to pronounce orders on pleas to lift the prohibitions on firecrackers in the national capital. A Bench of Justices A.S. Bopanna and M.M. Sundresh will pass the order.

When the court had reserved the case for order, the Bench had said that filing cases against persons bursting crackers during festivals like Deepavali may not be the solution against the dangers fireworks pose to health and environment.

“Cases against persons bursting firecrackers may not be the solution. You will have to find the source from where it [firecrackers] are coming and stop that,” Justice Bopanna had addressed the Delhi police.

The court was reacting to a report submitted by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, for the Delhi police, on the number of cases registered against sale, storage and bursting of crackers and number of persons arrested, etc.

The police statistics presented in the apex court show that from 2016 to August 31, 2023, 926 cases were registered for sale and storage of firecrackers and 3120 cases filed for bursting crackers.

The police had arrested 2,616 persons for bursting crackers and 740 for sale and storage.

The police said 51,692.413 kg of firecrackers were seized in Delhi from 2016 to August 2023.

The huge inflow of crackers had persisted despite a ban imposed on them by the Supreme Court. The National Green Tribunal and the Delhi government had also prohibited the sale and bursting of firecrackers.

However, amicus curiae, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan said crackers made their way into the national capital, especially ahead of the Deepavali season in November.

Ms. Bhati said the Delhi police were giving top priority to prevent the sale, storage and bursting of fireworks. District police chiefs had constituted flying squads, unauthorised stocks have been seized and sealed and an awareness campaign is on.

In an earlier hearing, Ms. Bhati, also appearing for the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), had said the government entity was taking steps to expedite the usage of green crackers. An affidavit filed by the PESO said fireworks manufacturers licensed by the government body had already been instructed to comply with the Supreme Court directives on green crackers. This includes getting emission tests done on the green crackers from CSIR-NEERI.

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