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Supreme Court Issues Notice In Plea Against Alleged Use Of Banned Chemicals By Firework Manufacturers

Srishti Ojha
8 April 2021 1:48 PM GMT
Supreme Court Issues Notice In Plea Against Alleged Use Of Banned Chemicals By Firework Manufacturers
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Supreme Court has on Thursday issued notice in application filed against alleged use of banned chemicals by firework manufacturers, mislabeling of products contrary to Supreme Court's directions.

A three judge Bench led by CJI issued the direction while hearing plea filed by three infants from Delhi in 2015, regarding alarming degradation of air quality leading to severe air pollution in Delhi NCR that can cause health hazards and seeking a complete ban on fireworks across the country to curb pollution

The plea had sought Court's intervention in the inevitable & widespread use of firecrackers specially during festivals. During the hearing today, Senior Adv Gopal Sankaranarayanan appearing for the applicant submitted before the Court that an IA has been filed, and the Court had previously given directions directing replies to be filed.

ASG Bhati for CBI informed the Court that CBI has completed the investigation and its report has been filed before the Court in a sealed cover. At this juncture, the Court observed that it will have to issue notice on the interim application. In response to Senior Advocate Nadkarni's request seeking notice to be issued on IA filed by him as well, the Court agreed to issue notices on both IAs

Supreme Court had in March 2020 observed that if contentions in the IAs regarding use of banned chemicals by manufacturers were correct, they would be liable for contempt of the top Court. Senior Counsel Gopal Sankaranarayanan, had brought to Court's notice the violations of its earlier orders through which it had banned the use of certain chemicals in the fireworks by the manufacturers, they would be guilty of contempt of the Supreme Court.

According to Mr. Sankaranarayanan, many of the respondents-manufacturers are still using the same chemicals which have been banned by the Supreme Court under various orders, and many of them are also not labeling their products as required by Supreme Court's order dated 10th Feb 2017.

The Court had issued notice to the manufacturers of Fireworks to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt of Supreme Court for the alleged violation of the Court's earlier orders. The Court had directed the Joint Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Chennai, to make a detailed investigation regarding the alleged violation of Court's earlier orders by these manufacturers by using the ingredients which have been banned and by mislabeling their products contrary to the directions.

While hearing the present PIL, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B.Lokur and Deepak Gupta, had in July 2017 set standards for fire crackers and had directed that no fire-crackers will contain polluting substances such as, antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and lead in any form whatsoever. The Bench 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.

The court had 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 in the present plea.

In November 2016, the Court had 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.

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