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Summarising the Delhi Green Crackers Case

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.

Issues
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.

Rationale
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 surroundings:

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.


Comments
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 to live.

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