Air Pollution in Delhi after Diwali celebration in the Patparganj area. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday, September 29 slammed six leading manufacturers of firecrackers in the country for their usage of barium and barium salts after taking into account a preliminary inquiry report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), LiveLaw has reported.
A bench including Justices M.R Shah and A.S Bopanna deemed it a ‘flagrant violation’ of the court’s February 2017 orders prohibiting the use of hazardous toxic chemicals in the production of firecrackers. The CBI report further claimed that manufacturers were also distorting the labelling process for such products.
The court said, “Considering the report submitted by the CBI, it prima facie appears that the court’s earlier orders on use of barium/barium salts as well as orders passed by the court on labelling fireworks have been violated.”
According to the report, Justice Shah, while emphasising the problem of air pollution caused by the bursting of crackers stated that the court regulations for green crackers have not been executed. He said that the court was not issuing any new order but rather only seeking compliance with its previous order.
“We have to take a balanced view looking at the country because every day there is a celebration. We have to see other factors also, we cannot allow people to suffer and die. There are people suffering from asthma and other diseases… children are also suffering,” the judge said.
Additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF) told the court that the ministry will ensure future compliance with earlier court regulations.
The court ordered a CBI inquiry into the issue after receiving several complaints in March 2020. As per the report, the court has given an opportunity to the manufacturers of firecrackers to file a counter-affidavit before the next hearing to present their case which is scheduled for October 6, 2021.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Tuesday has ordered a complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1, 2022. The air quality in Delhi deteriorates every year due to the bursting of firecrackers during Diwali and stubble burning in neighbouring states.