Summary Of Facts
This petition was filed by the fathers of some newly born infants who were
concerned about the health of their children in the wake of the alarming
degradation of the air quality, which lead to severe air pollution in the city
of Delhi and the likely hood result of the same was various health hazards.
Their claim was that where the air quality was poor or very poor, it still
affected all the citizens, irrespective of their age, but, children were much
more vulnerable to air pollutants and it could result in asthma, coughing,
bronchitis, retarded nervous system breakdown, and even cognitive impairment.
It was started that the pollution in the city of Delhi and National Capital
Region reached its peak during the time of Diwali due to indiscriminate use of
firecrackers whose chemical composition resulted in high levels of pollutants
and brought the situation to emergency.
The petition had a sole focus which was aimed at curbing seasonal crop burning,
indiscriminate dumping of dust or other residues of such crackers and other
pollutants, etc. the petition also requested to ban the use of firecrackers,
sparklers, explosives in any forms during festivals.
The Court instead of analyzing or interpreting any legal provision, this
Judgement was more of a Jurisprudential stand in order to keep the pollution in
control to increase the sustainability of the NCR Region and Delhi's
- Considering the poor environmental conditions witnessed last year where
pollution levels rose at an alarming level making Delhi the most polluted
city in the work, the Court held that though, the bursting of firecracker
was not the sole cause resulting in such a high degree of pollution, but it
was a major contributing element for the same.
- The Court acknowledged the efforts made by Government, Media, NGOs and
various other groups to create awareness amongst the general public about
the ill-effects of bursting of these crackers.
- The Court recognised the stand taken by Central Pollution Control Board
that Sulphur in fireworks should not be permitted as Sulphur on combustion
produces Sulphur Dioxide and the same is extremely harmful to health. The CPCB
also stated that between 9.00 PM to midnight on Diwali day the levels of Sulphur
Dioxide content in the air is dangerously high.
- The court concluded that the order suspending the licenses should be
given one chance to test itself in order to find out as to whether there
would be a positive effect of this suspension, particularly during the Diwali
period. In considering the adverse effects of burning of crackers leading to
the depreciation of the air quality deteriorates abysmally and gives rise to
severe health emergency situations every year post Diwali in the year 2016, the Court
had passed the order dated November 11, 2016 but it's the impact remains to be
tested during Diwali days.
While most people and sections have welcomed this move, the Supreme Court has
come forward with a pragmatic approach with the intention to control and reduce
the pollution caused by restricting the bursting of crackers of festivals like
Diwali, the move remains incomplete as the aforesaid order merely prevents the
sale of crackers and does not bring within the ambit of the decision, the
prohibition on their bursting which causes pollution.
The Court explained the
hardships which may be encountered to monitor and prevent the burning of
crackers by the people. Other allied problems associated with this could be
trash collection, injuries, damage to property etc.
Despite numerous efforts being made by the Government, Media, NGOs and like
campaigns, it remains the indispensable responsibility of the individuals to
understand the detrimental effect being caused on the environment by cracker
burning. It is essential not only to comply with the fundamental duty as
prescribed by the Constitution under Article 51-A (g) to have the compassion to
their surrounding environment but also to respect the moral duty that vests
towards the protection of the mother nature and thereby making it a better place