No, Supreme Court of India has not banned all firecrackers

By: Rajini KG
November 9 2023

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No, Supreme Court of India has not banned all firecrackers

Screenshot of the viral posts circulating on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

There is no blanket ban on crackers, only those with banned chemicals have been prohibited. The court has permitted the use of green firecrackers.

Claim ID 8dbc8336

What's the claim?

Several social media users have shared the claim that the Supreme Court of India has imposed a blanket ban on firecrackers ahead of Diwali, a festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. Several users have even termed the so-called blanket ban, believed to have been imposed in a judgment pronounced on November 7, as "anti-Hindu." 

A user on X (formerly Twitter) wrote in Hindi: "Hindus.....firecrackers are banned in the entire country, this time you will not be able to burst even a single firecracker !! Supreme Court's order has come!! (translated)" An archived version of the post can be viewed here. The same narrative has also been shared on Instagram and WhatsApp as well. An archived version of such a post can be viewed here.

Screenshots of the viral posts circulating on social media.
(Source: X/Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is misleading. The apex court has not imposed a blanket ban on firecrackers, and its latest order on the same has been cited out of context. 

In fact

Logically Facts found the Supreme Court order pronounced by the bench of Justices AS Boppanna and MM Sundresh on November 7. The order addressed a plea that sought directions to reduce air and noise pollution in the north Indian state of Rajasthan and the usage of firecrackers during festivals. In response to the plea, the court said, "We are of the opinion that no specific orders would be necessary in the application inasmuch as this Court in the course of dealing with the petition, has passed several orders where the steps have been indicated to minimize and to avoid air as well as noise pollution (sic)." 

The apex court added, "Therefore, we make it clear that the State of Rajasthan also would take note of this and take all steps to minimize the air/noise pollution not only during the festival season but even thereafter." The court stressed that its previous order on firecrackers would not just apply to New Delhi but to all the states in the country.

It is to be noted that the Supreme Court has relied upon its 2021 order, wherein it had cited its previous judgment from 2018 to prohibit the use of firecrackers with barium salts and banned chemicals but allowed green firecrackers.

What had the Supreme Court said in 2018 and 2021?

On October 23, 2018, a Supreme Court bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan pronounced a judgment on pleas seeking directions to ban the usage of any form of firecrackers during Diwali in New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) to combat air pollution. In its judgment, the apex court bench had issued a slew of directions on the use of firecrackers — it permitted the use of green crackers that release fewer pollutants, and prohibited the sale and usage of firecrackers with banned chemicals like lithium, arsenic, antimony, lead, mercury, barium salts as well as 'joined' firecrackers (series crackers or laris). The court had also issued specified time slots during which firecrackers could be burst on the occasion of Diwali, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. 

After a new petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the sale, purchase, and use of firecrackers in India, the court on October 29, 2021, upheld its 2018 judgment and also directed that the order applied to all states and union territories in India, not just New Delhi and NCR. 

This clarifies that green crackers — that do not have harmful chemicals and have fewer pollutants — are permitted during Diwali, and only harmful and polluting firecrackers are banned. 

The verdict

The Supreme Court of India has banned the manufacturing, sale, and usage of firecrackers containing barium salts and other banned chemicals to control air pollution. The court has permitted the use of green crackers. Therefore, we mark this claim as misleading.  

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