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SC Sets Standards For Fire-crackers [Read Order]

LiveLaw News Network
31 July 2017 3:31 PM GMT
SC Sets Standards For Fire-crackers [Read Order]
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In the ongoing case of Arjun Gopal v Union of India and others, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B.Lokur and Deepak Gupta, today directed that no  fire-crackers shall contain polluting substances such as, antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and lead in any form whatsoever.   The court made it clear that it is the responsibility of the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation...

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In the ongoing case of Arjun Gopal v Union of India and others, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B.Lokur and Deepak Gupta, today directed that no  fire-crackers shall contain polluting substances such as, antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and lead in any form whatsoever.   The court made it clear that it is the responsibility of the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) to ensure compliance, particularly in Sivakasi, the hub of fire-crackers manufacturers, many of whom were arraigned as respondents before the Court in Arjun Gopal v Union of India.

The petition was filed by three infants from Delhi, in 2015 seeking the  Supreme Court’s intervention against the inevitable and widespread use of firecrackers and fireworks and other products of the same classification, especially during the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali.   The infants filed the petition under Article 32 seeking interim steps to effectuate their right to clean, healthy and breathable air under Article 21.

The petitioners, Arjun Gopal, Aarav Bhandari, and Zoya Rao Bhasin filed the public interest litigation petition through their fathers and next friends, Supreme  Court advocates, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Amit Bhandari and Saurabh Bhasin, respectively.

During today’s hearing, the bench was told that no standards have been laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board with regard to air pollution by the bursting of fire-crackers.  The Member Secretary of the CPCB, Dr.A.B.Akolkar, told the bench that it would take some time to arrive at the standards and it would be done by September 15, at the latest.

As there seemed to be some doubt about strontium and its compound, the bench wanted to hear submissions in this regard, and directed listing of the matter for this purpose on August 23.

The Bench assured the counsel that on August 23, it would also consider modification of the interim orders passed by the court in this case.

The Bench added that for setting up of standards, collaborative efforts would be made between CPCB and PESO.  The Bench asked Dr.Akolkar and the Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, Sivakasi to remain present on the next date of hearing.

In November last year, the Court asked the CPCB to study the harmful effects of substances used in the manufacture of crackers, and submit its report within three months.   The bench headed by the then Chief Justice, T.S. Thakur, was concerned whether the substances used could lead to cancerous diseases.

On February 10, the bench of Justices Lokur and Prafulla C Pant observed, after reading the CPCB’s report that some of the chemicals used in the manufacture of fire-crackers are dangerous and beyond the safety limit.


Read the Order Here

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