Supreme Court sets aside Calcutta HC order on firecrackers ban

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Nov 1 : The Supreme Court on Monday set aside a Calcutta High Court order that put a blanket ban on use of firecrackers in West Bengal during the upcoming festival season, as the Vacation Bench allowed the use of green firecrackers provided the ambient air quality was ‘moderate’.

The two-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, and comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi, said: “The order of the SC will be applicable to all states uniformly and West Bengal cannot be an exception.”

“We are convinced that if the high court wanted to impose a complete ban, then all parties should have been called upon to justify,” Justice Khanwilkar said.

The West Bengal government submitted to the apex court bench that the officials are taking necessary steps for the implementation of the earlier orders of the top court, and the bench noted all the submissions.

The state government said that if there is any inaction on the part of the concerned state official, then remedial action will be taken and the bench accepted it.

The October 29, 2021, order in the Arjun Gopal against Union of India (UOI) shall be implemented in letter and spirit in the state of West Bengal, the apex court said and added that the state shall ensure that no banned firecrackers be imported into the state, and there must also be robust mechanism at all entry points.

The counsel for the West Bengal Pollution Control Board submitted before the apex court “there are no manufacturers in the state”. Therefore the bench has asked the state to ensure a thorough check and balance mechanism on the import of firecrackers into the state boundaries.

The Supreme Court disposed of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) with a number of directions as it heard the appeal filed before it by Goutom Roy, the Chairman of an association of firecracker manufacturers called “Sara Bangla Atasbazi Unnayan Samity”, and others against the Calcutta High Court ban order.

The October 29 order of the Calcutta High Court had imposed a complete ban on sale and use of crackers, including green crackers.

Roy filed the appeal before the Supreme Court on Sunday. He is the chairman of an association of firecracker manufacturers called “Sara Bangla Atasbazi Unnayan Samity”. Roy sought appropriate directions and or orders in the firecrackers issue.

The high court banned the use of firecrackers during the upcoming festivities of Kali Puja, Diwali, Chatt Puja, Jagadhatri Puja, Guru Nanak’s Birthday, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve this year.

A two-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court, headed by Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharya and comprising Justice Aniruddha Roy, last week directed the police to maintain strict vigil and ensure that no sale, purchase or use of firecrackers takes place during the festivities.


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