Firecrackers: Can’t infringe others’ right to life in guise of employment, says SC

'Need to strike a balance'

Firecrackers: Can’t infringe others’ right to life in guise of employment, says SC

For representation only. File photo

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 28

Maintaining that it needed to strike a proper balance between right to life and right to livelihood, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it can’t infringe the right to life of other citizens “under the guise of employment of a few”.

”We have to strike the balance between employment, unemployment and the right to life of the citizen. Under the guise of employment of few we cannot permit others to infringe the right to life of other citizens,” a Bench led by Justice MR Shah said while dealing with the issue of ban on firecrackers.

”Our prime focus is the right to life of innocent citizens. If we find green crackers are there and accepted by the committee of experts we will pass suitable orders,” the bench said, adding that in our country, the main difficulty is implementation. Laws are there but ultimately implementation has to be there. Our order should be implemented in the true spirit,” it noted.

The court had earlier refused to impose a complete ban on the sale of firecrackers and said sales can happen through only licensed traders and that only green crackers can be sold. The online sale of firecrackers has been completely banned.

On behalf of the firecrackers manufacturers’ association, senior counsel Atmaram Nadkarni said in view of the upcoming Diwali on November 4, they wanted Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) to take a decision on the issue.

He said the government should decide the matter as lakhs of people were unemployed in the industry. The contempt must be heard and taken to its logical end but the plight of lakhs of people working in the firecracker industry should be taken into account, he added.

On behalf of petitioner Arjun Gopal, senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan said the court had directed that PESO will give final clearance to firecrackers that are safe.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Ministry of Environment and Forests, said the ministry had in October 2020 filed an affidavit and if the Bench considered it, all the interim applications will be covered. Experts have suggested formulations on the issue of green crackers, she said.

The court asked Sankaranarayanan to submit a separate compilation of orders and posted it for hearing on Wednesday.

The Bench said every day there was a violation of orders and in every religious event, victory processions, marriages it could see flouting of its orders. “We will have to fix liability on someone, else this will not stop at all,” it said.


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