Curbs on fireworks binding on all States: Supreme Court

The restrictions are not limited to Delhi, the Bench says; adults tend to behave worse than children, bursting crackers galore, with no thought of pollution, says Justice Bopanna

Updated - November 08, 2023 12:03 am IST

Published - November 07, 2023 12:26 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Justice Bopanna remarked ‘due to awareness spread in school, children do not burst crackers much. It is the adults who do it.”

Justice Bopanna remarked ‘due to awareness spread in school, children do not burst crackers much. It is the adults who do it.” | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Days before Deepavali celebrations, the Supreme Court clarified on Tuesday that its orders to minimise air and noise pollution caused by firecrackers bind States across the country and not just Delhi National Capital Region.

“Celebrations can take place, but with some moderation. One can bring happiness to others with celebrations, but not at the cost of the environment,” Justice M.M. Sundresh, on the Bench, said.

Justice A.S. Bopanna said adults tended to behave worse than children, bursting crackers galore, with no thought of the pollution and discomfort caused by them.

“Due to awareness spread in school, children do not burst crackers much. It is the adults who do it.,” Justice Bopanna remarked. He said people easily dodge time restrictions imposed for bursting crackers.

“If we give a 10.30 p.m. limit, they will burst their entire stock of crackers by 10 p.m. All they think of is finishing their stock of crackers,” Justice Bopanna said.

Justice Sundresh said the impetus should be on sensitising people. “We live on hope,” the judge remarked.

The court was hearing an application highlighting a spike in pollution in Rajasthan despite restrictive orders passed by the Supreme Court.

‘Collective consciousness of society’

The Rajasthan counsel said the desire to protect the environment had to be a part of the “collective consciousness of society”.

“Every citizen should agree to celebrate with fewer crackers,” the counsel said.

The applicants said governments could not leave the responsibility of protecting the environment to individual citizens. Authorities, who hold the environment in public trust, were obliged to take action and remain on their toes to ensure clean air.

The court said State governments should take steps to minimise air and noise pollution not only during festive seasons but even otherwise. The orders of the Supreme Court bind all States, including Rajasthan, the Bench reiterated.

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