“Our orders must be executed in a genuine spirit,” says Supreme Court


The Supreme Court today, during the hearing of a petition alleging the violation of the order of February 10, 2017 prohibiting the use of certain dangerous chemicals and exceeding the safe limits in fireworks by manufacturers, found that it could not allow others to infringe the right to life. of other citizens and that a balance had to be found between employment, unemployment and the right to life.

Adding that in our country the main difficulty was the application of laws, Judges MR Shah and AS Bopanna said its main goal was the right to life of innocent citizens.

“Our main goal is the right to life of innocent citizens. If we find that green crackers are there and accepted by the expert committee, we will make appropriate orders. The laws are there but in the end, the work must be there. true spirit “, said the bench.

The Supreme Court also said that to ensure that banned chemicals were not used, it was necessary to assign responsibility to someone who was ultimately responsible.

“A quantity of 1,000, 10,000 sets of crackers are burned. For every occasion and in every religion, crackers are used. Even politicians after the election victory use crackers. Sometimes we will have to determine the responsibility at the end of the day. account as to who will be If the responsibility is laid on the Commissioner of Police, then only that can happen. “

On April 8, 2021, the Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian issued a notice in the application which also stated that the respondent manufacturers were using the same chemicals that were banned. by the Court and that many of the respondent manufacturers did not label the products in accordance with the Court’s directions in the previous order.

For the applicant (Arjun Gopal), Senior Counsel Gopal Sankaranarayan while drawing the attention of the Court to the order dated March 3, 2020, argued that the sale of fireworks that existed before 2015 continued in every city, even today.

Emphasizing the reasons which led to the filing of this application, lead counsel argued that,

“300 different types of fireworks violating all the rules concerning air pollution, noise pollution, the transport licenses which are required forced us to file the 2nd application because in Calcutta the HC took note of the fact that many newspapers in 2020 reported that journalists were gone and they very easily were able to get the crackers that claimed to be green but contained all the bad chemicals. In Mumbai, the Davars Foundation investigated with Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and even in Maharashtra these sales go with impunity. Manufacturers violated court orders. It was in the press recently and they said you can do whatever, let court orders come, we will move forward. That is why we have made this request. ”

Claiming that firecrackers are not like narcotics that someone could smoke in a bathroom, senior counsel argued that the executive was not taking any action to ensure compliance with the court order.

Lead lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayan also referred to the court order dated October 23, 2018, in which the court ordered the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (“PESO”) not to issue a certificate regarding the composition of the fireworks only after being assured that they were not composed of chemicals banned by the court.

To further substantiate his claim, lead counsel also said that NEERI issued notifications after entering into a memorandum of understanding with manufacturers and issuing certificates for crackers containing barium.

“This is totally in violation of the court order, which is why PESO refused to give certifications completely in terms of court order. Therefore, today there are only 5 types of fireworks that have achieved PESO green certification and only these are Today, of the 2,000 or so manufacturers, only 120 have the ability and inclination to work with this tribunal to ensure it there would be greener crackers ”, Senior lawyer added.

He also claimed that the whole idea of ​​the green crackers and the barium ban came from the affidavit filed by the Indian Union under which the Supreme Court adopted instructions in the order of October 23, 2018. However, , until now, the instructions were being violated.

Highlighting the Supreme Court order dated April 11, 2019 in which the barium ban was reiterated, the lead counsel further argued that the Indian government had completely ignored PESO.

“The affidavit of October 26, 2020 indirectly tries to ensure that the ban on barium is lifted, thus playing completely with the manufacturers, which was forbidden by the Court to attempt the balance. Here we have 2-3 outrages ongoing we have PESO saying it won’t grant approval until court orders, ” Lead counsel pleaded.

Regarding the lead counsel’s submissions, Judge Shah, President of the Judiciary, remarked orally:

“A quantity of 1,000, 10,000 sets of crackers are burned. For every occasion and in every religion, crackers are used. Even politicians after the election victory use crackers. Sometimes we will have to determine the responsibility at the end of the day. account as to who will be If the responsibility is laid on the Commissioner of Police, then only that can happen. “

In this context, the lead counsel also referred to the judgment of the High Court of Calcutta in which the High Court, while assigning responsibility to the local magistrate and the local police, had observed that it was the responsibility of the magistrate and police to protect article 21 since they could not turn a blind eye and allow people to do whatever they wanted.

Representing the Firecracker Manufacturers Association, Senior lawyer Atmaram Nadkarni argued that she wanted PESO to make a decision as Diwali approached. He added that the issue should be decided by the government taking into account the unemployment of hundreds of thousands of people.

It was also his claim that contempt should be heard and taken to a logical end, but the plight of the hundreds of thousands of people who worked in the industry should also be considered.

Additional Attorney General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, argued that the ministry had filed an affidavit in October 2020 and that if the Supreme Court took note, all interim claims would be covered. She also argued that all the experts had come together to come up with wording on the issue of green crackers.

The hearing will continue tomorrow.

Background

On March 3, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the respondent manufacturers M / s Standard Fireworks, M / s Hindustan Fireworks, M / s Vinayaga Fireworks Industries, M / s Shree Mariamman Fireworks, M / s Shree Suryakala Fireworks and M / s Selva Vinayagar Fireworks, with the exception of Respondent # 5, to explain why they should not be punished for contempt of court for the alleged violation of previous orders of this Court.

If the above allegations are true, there is no doubt that the manufacturer-respondents would be in contempt of this Court.“, remarked the Bench.

Instructions were also given to the Joint Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Chennai, to conduct a detailed investigation into the alleged violation of prior orders of this Court by the aforementioned manufacturer-respondents using ingredients which have been banned and mislabelling their products contrary to the instructions of this Court as set out in this application & submitting a report to the Court within six weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of the order.

On February 10, 2017, Magistrate Madan B Lokur and Judge Prafulla C Pant ordered the respondents, including manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, to provide the name and address of the manufacturer as well as the name and address of the person responsible for any firecracker sold in box / cardboard to hold the person responsible in case of violation of any of the provisions of the law.

On October 23, 2018, the High Court ruled against a total ban on firecrackers, but said only less polluting green crackers can be sold, also only through licensed traders. The court had banned the online sale of firecrackers, banned e-commerce sites from selling it, set the duration of firecrackers bursting and ordered that firecrackers may only be burst in designated areas.

Case title: Arjun Gopal & Ors v. Union of India and the Golds | Write Petition (s) (Civil) No (s). 728/2015

Click here to read / download the order

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