Two weeks before Diwali, the Supreme Court will tomorrow hear a plea filed by three kids- Arjun Gopal and others- seeking restoration of its last year's order banning firecrackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region.The plea has also sought recall of apex court verdict dated September 12 which had temporarily lifted the order of November 11, 2016, suspending permanent licences for sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR.
After Justice Madan B Lokur recused from the case, the matter was taken up by Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan which fixed the matter for detailed hearing tomorrow.
In the fresh plea, Sankaranarayanan has put the blame for nixing of the restriction squarely on the doorsteps of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and other authorities like the Delhi government, accusing them of “suppressing relevant facts” before the SC.
The plea said petitioners got possession of “certain documents” carrying specific information only after the judgment lifting the stay was passed on September 12, 2017.In a startling disclosure, the petitioners have alleged that the Central Pollution Control Board suppressed the relevant information to the Supreme Court, which led to its relaxation of its previous ban on crackers, on September 12.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta had modified the SC order passed on November 11 last year and allowed sale of firecrackers but directed the governemnt authorities to ensure that fireworks are not burst in silence zones and also restricted the Delhi Police not to grant temporary licenses to more than 500 shopkeepers.The CPCB, it has now been disclosed, has taken a stand nearly 20 years ago that Sulphur in fireworks should not be permitted as Sulphur on combustion produces Sulphur Dioxide and the same is extremely harmful to health.
In Sagun Kaushik v Lt. Governor of Delhi & Ors [CWP 3364/1997], CPCB had told the Delhi High Court that between 9 p.m. to midnight on Diwali day, the levels of Sulphur Dioxide content in the air is dangerously high.
In their fresh IA to be heard on Friday, the petitioners have alleged that the CPCB had specifically stated that joined crackers should be banned by way of their letter to the Commissioner of Police dated 4.11.1996. “Neither the CPCB nor the Delhi Police divulged this fact to this Hon’ble Court”, the I.A. says.The IA further submits that the Amicus Curiae, appointed by the Delhi High Court in that case, had filed his report dated 14.9.1998 which records that submissions of the MoEF and the CPCB which recommended the instant ban on flying fireworks including rockets), joined crackers and crackers commonly known as Atom Bombs and Maroons. This has been suppressed by all parties who were in the know of events, the IA further claims.