Nationwide Prohibition on Polluting Firecrackers Enforced by Supreme Court, Extending Beyond Delhi
In a recent judicial proceeding, the Supreme Court entertained a petition urging the Rajasthan government to adhere to its directives concerning the prohibition of firecrackers containing barium salts and other environmentally harmful chemicals. The plea sought the court’s intervention to ensure strict compliance with the ban, highlighting the imperative to mitigate the adverse impact of such pollutants on the environment and public health.
cognizant of the pressing concerns related to air quality and pollution deliberated on the matter
underscoring the need for comprehensive enforcement measures beyond regional boundaries. This case exemplifies the court’s ongoing commitment to addressing environmental issues and underscores its role in safeguarding public welfare through regulatory interventions.
The Supreme Court has delivered a crucial clarification in its ongoing efforts to combat pollution, asserting that its 2021 directive permitting only the use of green firecrackers is applicable not only to Delhi-NCR but extends nationwide. In a recent hearing, the bench, comprising Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh, remarked on the changing dynamics of firecracker usage, noting a shift where adults, rather than children, were increasingly responsible for such activities.
Emphasising that environmental protection is a collective responsibility, the court addressed a petition urging the Rajasthan government to comply with the ban on firecrackers containing barium salts and other pollutants. The bench firmly stated that no new directives were necessary, reiterating the binding nature of Supreme Court orders across the country.
Recalling its 2021 stance, the court had not imposed a complete ban on firecrackers
specifically prohibited those containing barium salts. It had warned of personal liability for top officials if violations persisted, signalling a stern approach toward curbing environmental harm during festive periods.
Back in 2018, the court took a proactive stance by establishing specific time slots for the detonation of firecrackers.
It decreed that during Diwali, fireworks were permissible only between 8 pm and 10 pm, while for New Year and Christmas celebrations, the designated time frame was set between 11:55 pm and 12:30 am.
This measure aimed to strike a balance between allowing the festive tradition of firecracker usage and mitigating the associated environmental and public health concerns. The court’s temporal restrictions reflected a thoughtful approach to curbing the adverse impact of fireworks on air and noise pollution during celebratory occasions.
On November 7, 2023
a Division Bench comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia rebuked the Union Government for its lack of response to 14 recommendations and the repeated non-acknowledgment of five recommendations from the collegium. This stern reaction occurred during the hearing of a petition filed by the Advocates Association Bengaluru, urging the swift appointment of judges recommended by the Collegium.
The Bench, expressing discontent, pointed out the selective approval of names by the Union, even in cases related to the transfer of judges between courts. Emphasising that the Union Government should not be overly concerned about the location of a judge post-appointment, the Bench issued a warning. They stressed the need to avoid a situation where decisions by the Supreme Court or Collegium become contentious and lack public acceptance. This underscores the judiciary’s commitment to a seamless and efficient judicial appointment process while maintaining a balance with governmental considerations.