Friday, 24 November, 2017

Supreme Court lifts ban on sale of fireworks [Read judgment]

Supreme Court lifts ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR directs cops to remain vigilant Supreme Court lifts ban on firecrackers in Delhi ahead of Diwali
Angelo Anderson | 13 September, 2017, 00:19

The graded and balanced approach is not meant to dilute the primary concern which is and remains the health of everybody and the human right to breathe good quality air or at least not be compelled to breathe poor quality air, he said, adding that this "must take precedence over the commercial or other interest of the applicant and those granted a permanent licence to possess and sell fireworks".

Modifying its 2016 order, the Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted its ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi but with conditions.

In November 2016, the top court had banned the sale of fire crackers in Delhi and NCR region after the pollution levels in the national capital shot up to alarming levels.

"It seems to us that the steps so far taken by the Government of NCT of Delhi are limited to issuing directions, which is merely paperwork", said the bench comprising of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta in its judgment.

The court also directed the Delhi Police to reduce the number of temporary licence by 50 per cent of those granted past year and cap it at 500. At this time, Supreme Court has revoked the suspension of permanent licenses of Fire Crackers sellers. Also, licenses will be reviewed after Diwali depending pon the quality of air between the post-Diwali and after Diwali. "However, it is made explicit that the sale of fireworks by the permanent licensees must conform to the directions given above and must be fully in compliance with the Explosives Rules", the bench said.

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"There must be a concerted effort by the powers that be to ensure awareness and sensitisation of the people in Delhi and NCR, particularly children, of the health hazards of indiscriminate use of fireworks", it said. The number of temporary licences should be capped at 500.

The order came after Sivakasi fireworks manufacturers challenged the 2016 ban on the grounds that it had affected 821 fireworks industries and snatched livelihood of five lakh employees.

The apex court also directed that areas within 100 metres radius of hospitals, nursing homes, primary and district healthcare centres, educational institutions, courts, religious places would be declared silence zones.

"In our opinion, even 50,00,000 kg of fireworks is far more than enough for Dussehra and Diwali in 2017." .

The bench pulled up the Delhi government and city police for not taking preventive steps to curb the pollution caused due to fire cracking and directed the Education department of NCT government to formulate a plan within 15 days to sensitise people particularly children about the health hazards of firecracking. The transportation of firecrackers to the Delhi and NCR banned on Sep 12th.

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