As parts of India celebrate a cracker-less Diwali, social media users yet again, spoke about how a New Delhi-based NGO working in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility and with several BJP functionaries on the board had filed a PIL seeking a ban on firecrackers. The posts spoke about how it was the ISRN petition that started the cracker ban fiasco in India.
The conversation gathered steam after criticism faced by several states over their decision to ban bursting firecrackers during the Diwali festivities. So far, many states, including Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, and Rajasthan have placed a ban on firecrackers.
However, social media user Alok Bhatt pointed out how it was one Chirag Jain and one Shobit Shukla on whose plea the NGT had ordered a ban on crackers last year.
“Both the orders – one banning sale in NCR of 9 Nov 20 and later order of 1 Dec 20 for extending ban in NCR to every city with poor ambient air quality was NOT passed on ISRN petition but ON those filed by Chirag Jain and Shobhit Shukla,” Bhatt said in a tweet.
Both the orders – one banning sale in NCR of 9 Nov 20 and later order of 1 Dec 20 for extending ban in NCR to every city with poor ambient air quality was NOT passed on ISRN petition but ON those filed by Chirag Jain and Shobhit Shukla- wonder why @Vinay1011 jee doesn’t say this! pic.twitter.com/aSfhZMKtoR— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) October 31, 2021
Bhatt further informed that ISRN had withdrawn its name from the petition. He also said that the original application moved by ISRN was limited to NCR only and that for a limited time during the COVID-19 pandemic amidst the repeated warnings of the rising number of cases.
Moreover, the plea was not moved by ISRN but by one of the functionaries of the NGO in his personal capacity.
As it turns out, the official Twitter account of ISRN had on November 2, 2020, tweeted that the petition for firecracker ban was filed by Santosh Gupta, one of the functionaries of the NGO, in his personal capacity.
“A plea about banning firecrackers filed by Shri Santosh Gupta who is a functionary of @ISRN is in his personal capacity! ISRN or its Governing Body has nothing to do with the plea. It is hereby made clear that ISRN as an organisation is not associated with this plea!” the tweet by ISRN said.
A plea about banning fire crackers filed by Shri Santosh Gupta who is a functionary of @ISRN is in his personal capacity! ISRN or it’s Governing Body has nothing to do with the plea. It is hereby made clear that ISRN as an organisation is not associated with this plea!— ISRN (@ISRNnewdelhi) November 2, 2020
‘Petition filed by one of the functionaries in his personal capacity’: Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe
As the conversation around ISRN mounted this Diwali, OpIndia got in touch with Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Vice Chairperson at Indian Social Responsibility Network (ISRN), for his views on the controversy. Dr Sahastrabusshe is a Member of the Parliament of India representing the state of Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha. He has also served as National Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party from Aug 2014 – Sep 2020
Dr Sahasrabuddhe said the PIL that was filed in the name of ISRN has already been withdrawn. He further added that neither he nor BJP is associated with the NGO group anymore.
“We are all for no cracker ban,” Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said.
Reiterating what was tweeted by ISRN a year ago, Dr Sahasrabuddhe said the petition that is being bandied around on social media to insinuate that the group had asked for a cracker ban was unilaterally filed by one of the functionaries without any consultation with trustees. It was strongly objected to by the group, after which it was withdrawn.
Sumeet Bhasin, an advisor to the NGO group, corroborated the statement saying that the petition was withdrawn as it was taken unilaterally.