Supreme Court rejects pleas to include barium, allow joint firecrackers in Delhi

Before signing off the verdict by wishing a ‘Happy Diwali’, the Supreme Court Bench tells Delhi Police to regulate violations of the ban on firecrackers.

September 22, 2023 11:43 am | Updated 11:45 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Supreme Court on Friday, September 22, 2023 rejected pleas to include barium as an ingredient in fireworks while retaining the prohibition on the sale and bursting of joint crackers.

A Bench of Justices A.S. Bopanna and M.M. Sundresh told the authorities and the Delhi Police to regulate violations of the ban on firecrackers in the national capital.

Justice Bopanna, who read out the order, signed off by wishing the parties a hearty “Happy Diwali”.

‘Filing cases not the solution’

When the court had reserved the case for order, the Bench had said that filing cases against persons bursting crackers during festivals like Diwali 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 burstk g of crackers and number of persons arrested, etc.

The police statistics presented in the apex court shows 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 2616 persons for bursting crackers and 740 for sale and storage.

The police had said 51692.413 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 has also prohibited the sale and bursting of firecrackers.

However, amicus curiae, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, said crackers make their way into the National Capital, especially ahead of the Diwali season in November.

Ms. Bhati said the Delhi Police was 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. Eom

In an earlier hearing, Ms. Bhati, also appearing for 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 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. Eom

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