Supreme Court Cases

Landmark Judgment – Arjun Gopal v. Union of India

Arjun Gopal v. Union of India
AIR 2018 SC 5731: 2018 (14) SCALE 209:
2019 (13) SCC 523: JT 2018 (10) SC 381
Decided on: 23-10-2018
Hon’ble Judges: AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, JJ.

Facts: Petitions were filed by 6 months and 14 months babies through their fathers who felt due to degradation of air quality and pollution, petitioners may come across with various health hazards. Official respondents directed by petitioners to take possible measures for checking pollution by striking at causes of pollution, which includes seasonal crop burning, in-discriminate dumping-of dust/Malba and other pollutants, etc. Prayer also included banning use, in any form of firecrackers and minor explosives, in any form during festivals or otherwise.

Issue: Directions to control air pollution whether any directives can be issued?

Whether ban on display of fireworks during Diwali has to be complete or it can be controlled/regulated in a manner which may not result in air pollution or least intrusive?

Held: Totackle this problem balanced approach is needed which may take care of concern of both parties and provide reasonable and adequate solution. Suggestions of CSIR, NEERI, PESO, CPCB strive nice balance between two competing interests. Crackers with reduced emission and green crackers, only would be permitted to be manufactured and sold. Use of Reduced Emission firecrackers (improved crackers).

Avoidance of use of ash as desiccant or filler materials in crackers for reduction in p-articulate matter by 15-20%. ‘These can be implemented subject to approval by PESO, and Usage of charcoal meeting specifications of explosives and pyrotechnics as prescribed by PESO.

Production and sale of crackers other than those mentioned in Suggestion No’s. II and III is hereby banned.

No e-cornmerce websites, including Flipkart, Amazon etc shall accept any online orders and effect online sales.

Barium salts in the ¬£reworks is also hereby banned:”:

PESO will ensure suspension of the licenses of manufacturers of such fireworks items and appropriate disposal of such stock.

Extensive public awareness campaigns shall be taken up by the Central Government/State Governments/Schools/Colleges Informing the public about the harmful effects of firecrackers.

All the official respondents, and particularly the Police, shall ensure-that firework-s take place only during the designated time and at designated places, as mentioned above. They shall also ensure that there is no sale of banned firecrackers. In case any violation is found, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the concerned Police Station of the area shall be held personally liable for such violation and this would amount to committing contempt of the Court, for which such SHO(s) would be proceeded against.

On Diwali days or on any other festivals like Gurupurab etc., when such fireworks generally take place, it would strictly be from 8 pm till 11 pm only. On Christmas Eve and New Year eve, when such fireworks start around midnight, i.e. 12 am, it would be from 11.55 pm till 12.30 am only.

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