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A public interest litigation initiated by the petitioners Arjun Gopal and Ors under Article 32 of the Constitution against Union of India and Ors in the Supreme Court Of India.
This is to the effect that this Court may issue a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or direction to ban the use of fireworks, sparklers and minor explosives in any form, during festivals or otherwise.
The public interest relief sought for is required to be considered from two perspectives: firstly, from preventing air pollution through the bursting of fireworks and secondly, by invoking the provisions of the Explosives Act, 1884 and the Explosives Rules, 2008 framed thereunder for preventing air pollution by restricting the possession and sale of fireworks in the National Capital Region.
There are seven major contributors of air pollution and these are:
- Construction activity and carriage of construction material.
- Burning of Municipal Solid Waste and other waste.
- Burning of agriculture residue.
- Vehicular Pollution.
- Dust on the roads.
- Industrial and power house emission including fly-ash.
- Emissions from Hot-Mix Plants and Stone Crushers.
The court stated that the response of the Government of NCT of Delhi is lethargic with the absence of any keenness to take proactive steps. This is disconcerting. It is high time that governmental authorities realize that the cost of ill health (particularly among children) is far greater in psycho-social terms than in financial and economic terms. The adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’ is fully applicable in the present circumstances.
It was submitted by petitioners that in Consumer Education & Research Centre v. Union of India it was held by this Court that the right to health, though of a worker, is a fundamental right. The right to health coupled with the right to breathe clean air leaves no manner of doubt that it is important that air pollution deserves to be eliminated and one of the possible methods of reducing it during Diwali is by continuing the suspension of licences for the sale of fireworks and therefore implicitly, prohibiting the bursting of fireworks. Also, court has laid down various directions that has to be complied .