Only green firecrackers to be burst in West Bengal: Calcutta High Court order

  • 11/10/2022

Order of the Calcutta High Court in the matter of Sabuj Mancha & Others Vs State of West Bengal & Others dated 11/10/2022.

The matter related to sale of green firecrackers in West Bengal. Sabuj Mancha, the petitioner stated that no mechanism has been formulated either by the state of West Bengal or by the State Pollution Control Board for ensuring sale and bursting of green crackers only. This has resulted in severe noise and air pollution in the city and other parts of the state in previous years. He prayed for a a total ban on the sale of crackers in the state.

Byabasayee Samity, one of the respondents opposed the prayer for total ban of firecrackers. The Samity said that a similar issue was taken by the Supreme Court (Civil Appeal No. 6561 of 2021) and had set aside the order of total ban on firecrackers issued by the Calcutta High Court (WPA No. 282 of 2021). The SC "remanded the matter for consideration of issuance of appropriate directions upon the state of West Bengal to ensure importation, sale and bursting of green crackers only in the state".

Thereafter, a co-ordinate bench of the High Court had directed the Home Secretary and the Commissioners and the Superintendent of Police of the concerned districts in the state to regulate import, sale and bursting of crackers. West Bengal Pollution Control Board said that directions have been issued permitting sale and bursting of green crackers in West Bengal.

The High Court observed that parameters with regard to sale and bursting of crackers in the state is not in dispute, but the mechanism for implementation.

The Calcutta High Court said that it is the duty of the Pollution Control Board as well as the police authorities to ensure that there is no importation, sale or bursting of crackers other than the green crackers "bearing QR Code as specified in Goutam Roy and Another (Supra) in the State of West Bengal."

The Calcutta High Court passed a slew of directions to ensure that only green firecrackers are sold in West Bengal.

The HC directed that no firecrackers other  than green crackers bearing QR Code would be sold in the Bazi-Bazar which is proposed to be held in Kolkata from October 18, 2022. The State Pollution Control Board as well as the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata shall deploy appropriate number of personnel in the Bazi Bazar to ensure implementation of the aforesaid direction. Representatives of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute shall also be present at the Bazi Bazar and assist the Pollution Control Board/ police personnel to inspect the firecrackers.