CBI report on use of toxic chemicals in very serious firecrackers, violation of court orders: SC

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The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that the CBI’s report on the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacture of firecrackers is very serious and that it appears “at first glance” that there has been a violation of court orders concerning the use of barium and the labeling of fireworks.

A bench of Judges MR Shah and AS Bopanna said the CBI found harmful chemicals such as barium salts in the items seized.

The Supreme Court noted that manufacturers such as Hindustan Fireworks and Standard Fireworks buy barium in huge quantities and use these chemicals in fireworks.

“The CBI report states that various samples of firecrackers and raw materials were collected from manufacturing plants which were sent for chemical analysis. It has been found that in many firecrackers barium and barium salts have been found.

“It was also found that a huge amount of barium / barium salts was purchased by manufacturers despite the ban imposed on the chemical in 2019. It was also found that the labels of the finished crackers revealed that ‘ they did not contain the chemical composition and year of manufacture, ”said the bench.

Read | Cannot infringe on citizens’ right to life: CS on the plea of ​​firecracker manufacturers

The Supreme Court noted on March 3 last year that Standard Fireworks, Hindustan Fireworks, Vinayaga Fireworks Industries, Shree Mariamman Fireworks, Shree Suryakalaa Fireworks and Selva Vinayagar Fireworks had been ordered to show why they would not be punished for contempt. for violating previous orders for using banned chemicals.

“Given the report submitted by the CBI, it appears at first glance that they violated this tribunal and previous barium salts orders and firecracker labeling orders,” the judiciary said.

However, he added that “to give the manufacturers yet another opportunity to present their case and give them a CBI report … We request Additional Attorney General Aishwarya Bhati to provide a copy of the investigation report to the respective appearing lawyers. for manufacturers by tomorrow. Copy of report also to be provided to applicant’s counsel. Submitted October 6 “.

The bench said it would be open to affected manufacturers against whom allegations are made to file a counter-affidavit and gave manufacturers another opportunity to present their case regarding the report of the Joint Director, CBI, Chennai.

He also issued notices to the makers of the firecrackers in the case.

The Supreme Court said that every day there is a party in this country. But we also have to consider other aspects. We cannot let people suffer and die. There are people who suffer from asthma and other illnesses. Children also suffer.

The case is scheduled for the next hearing on October 6.

On March 3, 2020, the Supreme Court ordered the joint director of the CBI in Chennai to conduct a detailed investigation and submit a report within six weeks regarding the alleged violation of earlier orders of this court by the manufacturers using the ingredients that were banned and mislabel their products contrary to the directives of this court.

He took a harsh view on the matter when senior lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan said these manufacturers openly flouted the court order. The Supreme Court had ordered six manufacturers to justify why they should not be punished for contempt of its orders.

At the start of the hearing, the court, after hearing a report filed by the CBI, said the agency found that in many of the items seized, harmful chemicals had been found, such as salts. of barium.

The court said it would save the adverse findings against these manufacturers and also revoke their license.

“Why should FIRs not be registered against manufacturers? Why shouldn’t they be punished? The court asked the firecracker makers.

Senior lawyer Kiran Suri, representing one of the manufacturing companies, said, “I do not have access to the CBI investigation report. I can only proceed on the basis of the filed request.

Bench: We will register the adverse findings against these manufacturers and also revoke their license.

The preliminary copy of the report must be given to the manufacturers.

Senior lawyer Atmaram Nadkarni, representing the Firecracker Manufacturers Association, said the findings are in the nature of a report by a commissioner-lawyer and a copy of the report should be given to the manufacturers.

ASG also agreed that there should be no difficulty in providing copies of the report to manufacturers.

“This report will clarify violations of the explosives law where action can be taken under the PESO, and it may be given since it is submitted to you. So we have no fear that the report may be released. to manufacturers, ”she said.

At the end of the hearing, the ASG said there were two aspects to this case – violations of court orders and the way forward.

“After much research, these reports are prepared. At the previous hearing before a separate bench, the court asked what could be the mechanism in place for there to be compliance and proper oversight. Now there is a question about a mechanism to be developed for these orders to be enforced? I was looking to file an affidavit in this regard, ”Bhati said.

The bench, however, objected and said: “What is the anxiety of the MoEF? Today if we only say green crackers, banners will be there and only barium will be used. This is not news. case before us.We must consider previous orders.

“You only know the problems for people who suffer from asthma and other illnesses. Even children suffer. We still want to have a balanced view of the country because every day there is a holiday. But we have to see other factors too and we cannot allow other people to suffer and die. “

Read also | Delhi government bans bursting and selling firecrackers until January 1 next year


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