Toxic chemicals in firecrackers violation of court orders: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the CBI report on use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing firecrackers is very serious and "prima facie" it appears that there has been violation of the court's orders on use of barium and labelling of fireworks.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the CBI report on use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing firecrackers is very serious and "prima facie" it appears that there has been violation of the court's orders on use of barium and labelling of fireworks.

A bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna said the CBI has found harmful chemicals such as barium salts in the seized items. The apex court noted that manufacturers such as Hindustan Fireworks and Standard Fireworks purchased barium in huge quantities and used these chemicals in the fireworks.

"The CBI report states that various samples of firecrackers and raw materials were collected from manufacturing factories which were sent for chemical analysis. It has been found that in many firecrackers barium and barium salts have been found. It has also been found that a huge quantity of barium/ barium salts has been bought by manufacturers despite the ban imposed on the chemical in 2019. It has also been found that labels of finished crackers have revealed they did not contain the chemical composition and year of manufacture," the bench said. The top court had noted on March 3 last year that Standard Fireworks, Hindustan Fireworks, Vinayaga Fireworks Industries, Shree Mariamman Fireworks, Shree Suryakalaa Fireworks and Selva Vinayagar Fireworks were directed to show cause why they not be punished for contempt for violation of earlier orders for using the banned chemicals.

"Considering the report submitted by CBI, prima facie it appears that they violated this court and earlier orders on barium salts and orders on labelling of firecrackers," the bench said.

However, it added that "to give one further opportunity to the manufacturers to put forward their case and give them a report of CBI... We direct the Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati to furnish a copy of enquiry report to respective counsels appearing for manufacturers by tomorrow. The copy of the report be also furnished to the counsel for the petitioner. Put up on October 6".

The bench said it will be open for manufacturers concerned against whom allegations are made to file a counter affidavit and granted one more opportunity to the manufacturers to put forward their case with respect to the report of the Joint Director, CBI, Chennai. It also issued notices to the manufacturers of the firecrackers in the case.

The top court said that everyday there is some celebration in this country. But we have to consider other aspects too. We cannot let people suffer and die. There are people suffering from asthma and other diseases.. children are also suffering. The matter is listed for next hearing on October 6.

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