Barium firecrackers banned throughout the country.
- Weather department ordered to respond to stubble burning.
- The court emphasizes the importance of raising public awareness.
- The ban on barium firecrackers applies to all states, not just Delhi-NCR.
New Delhi, India – The Supreme Court issued an order on Tuesday, stating that the ban on barium-infused firecrackers is not limited to Delhi-NCR but is mandatory for every state in the country. This clarification from the top court will have a nationwide impact, as it pertains to the ban on traditional firecrackers imposed in 2018 to curb air and noise pollution. The court directed the weather department to respond to stubble burning as it affects the air quality in the national capital and neighboring states.
Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice M.M. Sundresh’s bench advised the Rajasthan government to adhere to its previous directives regarding the use of firecrackers during Diwali. They emphasized the importance of raising public awareness about the harmful effects of firecrackers. The judges noted that even though children may not use many firecrackers today, adults still do, and it is a misconception that addressing pollution and environmental conservation is solely the court’s responsibility. Managing air and noise pollution is everyone’s duty.
The top court was hearing a pending petition related to the demand for a ban on firecrackers, involving the Rajasthan government. In this petition, the state government was requested to take steps to ban the use of firecrackers in Udaipur city during Diwali and wedding celebrations to control air and noise pollution.
The bench deferred the petition and stated, “There is no need to issue any specific orders in the petition as the court has already issued several orders applicable to all states, including Rajasthan. The state government should not only focus on festive seasons but should continue to monitor and address these issues even after the festivities.”
Senior advocate Manish Singhvi, representing the Rajasthan government, stated that the state has submitted a response and acknowledged a slight increase in air and noise pollution during Diwali. The petitioner’s counsel, Gopal Shankarnarayanan, argued that they are only requesting the court to clarify that the ban on firecrackers is not limited to Delhi-NCR but applies to Rajasthan as well. Shankarnarayanan expressed concerns that granting an exemption to one state would lead to an influx of petitions from other states.
The bench agreed with Shankarnarayanan’s argument and provided its consent based on the evidence presented.