After hearing a batch of pleas for 16 days, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on December 5.
The Supreme Court, on Friday, rejected a plea by firecracker manufacturers challenging the total prohibition on the sale of “green” firecrackers and other variants in the national capital. Instead, it reiterated the directions it issued earlier on October 23, 2018, which banned the use of barium as an oxidizer in the production of crackers across the country.
Banning the sale of even the so-called green crackers in the national capital, a bench of Justice AS Bopanna and Justice MM Sundresh directed the authorities to enforce the directions issued earlier by the top court in October 2018.
On September 14, the apex court had reserved orders on a plea seeking curbs on the illegal manufacture and sale of banned firecrackers. The court had told the Delhi Police to effectively enforce the ban and instead of picking on small retailers and those bursting firecrackers, it should target the sources of such firecrackers.
The firecracker manufacturers who were seeking the relaxation of the October 23, 2018, ban order had told the court that world over there was no ban on using barium in the chemical composition of the firecrackers.
In October 2018, when the top court banned the use of barium as an oxidizer in the firecrackers, the bench was told that there was no scientific study backing barium’s stated harmful effects. The ban in 2018 was for the time being and not for perpetuity.
The cracker manufacturers told the court that barium nitrate is used across the world and there is no substitute to it. They said no country has banned barium nitrate, including the USA, which has banned some salts from being used.
Barium is used in crackers to produce the colour green in fireworks. It also acts as a stabilizing agent to give firecrackers a longer shelf life.