A bench of Justices M.R. Shah and A.S. Bopanna made it clear that it wants full implementation of its orders to send a message that it is here to protect the rights of people and can even pass an order for CBI investigation concerning those manufacturers who are selling fake green crackers.
“Under the guise of enjoyment, you (manufacturers) cannot play with the lives of citizens. We are not against a particular community. We want to send a strong message that we are here for the protection of fundamental rights of citizens,” the bench said.
The apex court said the earlier ban order on firecrackers was passed after giving elaborate reasons.
“All firecrackers were not banned. It was in the larger public interest. There is a particular impression being created. It should not be projected that it was banned for a particular purpose. Last time we said that we weren’t coming in the way of enjoyment but we cannot come in the way of fundamental rights of people,” the bench said.
The top court said there must be some responsibility entrusted to authorities who have been given the right to implement the order on the ground.
The bench said even today firecrackers are openly available in the market.
“We want to send a message that we are here to protect the rights of people. We have not put a 100 per cent ban on firecrackers. Everybody knows what the people of Delhi are suffering (due to the pollution caused by firecrackers,” the bench said.
Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for the petitioner Arjun Gopal, submitted that there cannot be exceptions for big fire manufacturers who have violated the apex court’s directions and are contemnors.
He pointed out the minutes of the meeting of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and said the manufacturers are using these minutes in every application with regards to their prayer of the uplifting ban on barium nitrate.
The top court said the issue of firecrackers that cause pollution is only for the time being.
“But that main matter related to stubble burning, we haven’t got time to deal with that. After vacation, we’ll hear that issue. It’s very urgent,” the bench said.
The apex court also said that in its order, it would ask CBI to investigate concerning those manufacturers who are selling fake green crackers.
“Nobody can be allowed to use fake green crackers and show us that they are complying with our orders,” the bench said.
The hearing remained inconclusive and will continue tomorrow.
The top court had earlier said that under the guise of green crackers, banned articles are being used by firecracker manufacturers and reiterated that its earlier order banning joint crackers must be complied by every state.
The bench had said that it is not averse to the celebration but not at the cost of the life of other citizens.
The apex court said that celebration does not mean the use of loud crackers and it can also be from “Fuljhaddi” etc which are not noisy.
It had ordered six manufacturers to show cause why they should not be punished for contempt of its orders.
The SC had said it cannot infringe the right to life of other citizens under the guise of employment while considering a ban on firecrackers and its prime focus is the right to life of innocent citizens.
The apex court had earlier refused to impose a complete ban on the sale of firecrackers and said that sales can happen through only licensed traders and that only green crackers can be sold. The online sale of firecrackers has been completely banned.
The verdict had come in response to a plea seeking a ban on the manufacturing and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution.
In the past, the apex court had said that while deciding on a ban on firecrackers, it is imperative to take into account the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people of the country.