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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Supreme Court restricts bursting of Firecrackers


Supreme Court restricts bursting of Firecrackers

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 23 October 2018, has allowed sale of firecrackers with conditions across the country, which has the world’s 14 most polluted cities, to curb air pollution ahead of Diwali on November 7.


Imposing a time frame of 8pm to 10pm for bursting firecrackers on Diwali, the top court banned manufacture and sale of all fire crackers except the ones that meet the noise and emission bans specified by the Centre r banned. It also put a blanket ban on online the online sale of fire crackers.


For New Year celebrations the time frame fixed by the SC is 11.55 pm to 12.30 am.


The top court had earlier said all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, needs to be taken into account while considering a plea for the ban.


It had asked the Centre to suggest measures to be taken to curb the pollution and the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.


The court ruled that firecrackers can be sold only through licensed dealers, while banning online sales. The top court also clarified that the judgment was not confined to Diwali, but holds true for all religious events.

The apex court had earlier said there is a need to take into account all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, while considering a plea for the ban.
The top court had said the Article 21 (right to life) of Constitution applies to both segments of people and it needs to maintain a balance while considering a countrywide ban on firecrackers.

It had asked Centre to suggest measures to be taken for curbing the pollution and what will be the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.

Manufacturers earlier told the court that the use of firecrackers should not be completely banned and it should instead be strictly regulated. They said firecrackers are not the reason for the increase in air pollution and there are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it.


The top court had temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali on October 9 last year. It had later refused to relax its order while dismissing a plea by traders, who had sought permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19, 2017.


India’s poor air quality causes over one million premature deaths every year, according to a joint report by two US-based health research institutes earlier this year. Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continued to be ‘very poor’ on Monday with an average reading of 318 of PM (particulate matter) 2.5 at 9 am, according to data of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

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