The Supreme Court on November 26 said it wants every consignment of the material used in manufacturing green fire crackers to be tested for quality control as the issue pertains to public health.
Taking note of the status report prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde directed that a quality control mechanism be set up in each manufacturing unit of green fire crackers within 15 days and such units be monitored by officials from the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO).
"We virtually want each and every consignment of materials (used in manufacturing of green crackers) to be checked, because this is the matter concerning public health," said the bench which also comprised Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Surya Kant.
At the outset, Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni said that the MoEF has filed the status report after taking note of the views of various bodies including the Central Pollution Control Board.
The bench asked the Centre about the mechanism to ensure the quality control of materials to be used in manufacturing green crackers.
It also asked senior advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan, appearing for the PIL petitioners, to file a contempt plea when he alleged that despite the apex court's order, tonnes of fire-crackers were blown up in Delhi and NCR.
"You file the contempt (application). We take serious note of this. Just because the matter relates to the livelihood of many, the apex court's orders (banning fire-crackers with certain exceptions) cannot be violated," the bench said.
Earlier, the apex court had directed the Centre to approve the composition of green crackers after it is formulated by PESO, a body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, so as to enable their manufacturing.
It had allowed the firecracker manufacturers to apply for approvals from the concerned authorities after PESO approves the new formulation of fireworks.
The top court had said that after PESO finalises the new formulation of fireworks, an approval of Union of India should also be taken so that manufacturing can start.
The apex court was hearing pleas of firecracker manufacturers including the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers' Association seeking permission to make firecrackers.
They had contended that they should be allowed to manufacture firecrackers with barium substitute which is barium nitrate claiming that this would reduce the pollution to the extent of about 25 to 30 per cent.
Prio to this, the apex court had banned the manufacture, sale and use of joined firecrackers (series crackers or 'laris') saying that they cause "huge air, noise and solid waste problems".
It had said the noise and smoke emission limits of the crackers will have to be approved by PESO.
To curb pollution in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), the court had directed the Centre, the Delhi government and state governments of NCR to permit community-bursting of fire-crackers for Diwali and other festivals, wherever it could be done.