New Delhi: Firecrackers will not be banned completely but the Supreme Court today restricted its use to tackle concerns about deadly pollution in Delhi and other cities.
In its order, the court banned the online sale of firecrackers and put a stay on e-commerce portals from selling them.
The court said only “low polluting” green crackers which are within permitted decibel limits and emission norms will be allowed.
The court also imposed timing restrictions on burning firecrackers on Diwali. The court said people will be allowed to burn crackers between 8 PM and 10 PM on Diwali. On New Year and Christmas, the timing is from 11:45 PM to 12:15 AM.
The court has also directed all states to explore feasibility of community cracker bursting during festivals.
The Supreme Court’s verdict came in response to a plea seeking a ban on the manufacturing and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution. This comes 15 days ahead of Diwali on 7 November.
A bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan prohibited the bursting of firecrackers that do not fulfil the green norms that would apply all the year round. The rules would not only be applicable to Diwali but New Year and marriage festivities as well.
A plea had sought a ban on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution. Firecrackers manufacturers had earlier told the court that there should be no complete ban on the use of firecrackers but should be strictly regulated. They had argued that crackers are not the sole reason for an increase in air pollution.
The SC had reserved its verdict in this regard on 28 August. It had said that there was a need to consider all aspects, including the right to health of more than 1.3 billion people in the country as well as the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers.
The court underlined that Article 21 (right to life) of Constitution applies to both the groups.