Supreme Court concurs with the Delhi Government’s decision banning the use of firecrackers in Delhi

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On September 22, 2023, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the decision of the Delhi Government banning the use of firecrackers in Delhi ahead of the Diwali festival. It said no to the production as well as the sale of green firecrackers. While passing the order, the bench also rejected a plea seeking the manufacture and use of firecrackers using barium. The bench including Justice MM Sundresh and AS Bopanna said that the earlier order, banning the use of barium-based chemicals in firecrackers, prevailed. The bench ordered, “We are dismissing two applications seeking the manufacture and sale of firecrackers containing barium and joint firecrackers. We have not interfered with the 2018 directions and reiterated them.” In 2018, the Supreme Court imposed the ban but allowed the bursting of green firecrackers in Delhi. The bench further ordered all the authorities to comply with the decision.  

During the court proceedings, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for the petitioners, urged the top Court for urgent listing of the matter. The bench said that the order is limited to the application by manufacturers, represented under TANFAMA (Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association). TANFAMA agreed to follow the development of firecrackers using formulations improved by the two expert bodies, CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) and NEERI (National Environment Engineering Research Institute) and regulated by PESO (Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization). 

Last week, the SC told the Delhi police to not issue any temporary licence for selling firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. While hearing the matter on September 22, the bench said “We have to see what level of work has been done over the years and whether any additional directions are required to be issued. We see that most of the aspects have been taken care of by various orders passed by this court from time to time.” It further told the Additional Solicitor general appearing for the Centre, Aishwarya Bhati, that “When there is a ban imposed by the government it means a complete ban. Just ensure that no temporary licences are given by the Delhi police. Giving licences of any kind will be in violation of our orders.

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