The Supreme Court Tuesday ordered a partial ban on the sale and use of firecrackers, ahead of Diwali next month. Hearing a bunch of petitions seeking a blanket ban on firecrackers to help curb air pollution, the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and AK Sikri allowed the use of “safer” firecrackers for a limited time period during festivals.
Refusing a complete ban, the top court has permitted the use and sale of “greener” firecrackers which have a low emission. Firecrackers with permissible decibel sound limits will be allowed to be sold in the market.
Firecrackers will be allowed to be burnt for 2 hours, 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali. For New Year and Christmas, the time allotted is 11.45 pm to 12.30 am.
The Supreme Court has restrained E-commerce websites like Flipkart and Amazon from selling firecrackers which are beyond the permissible limit. Websites will attract contempt of court charges if they don’t adhere to the court’s direction.
Station house officers of police stations concerned will be held liable if banned firecrackers are sold in their areas.
The Court has also directed the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) to review the clinical composition of fireworks, particularly reducing Aluminium content.
Three children, aged between three and four, were among the petitioners who sought a blanket ban on the sale, use, and transportation of firecrackers citing concerns of air pollution. On October 9 last year, the Supreme Court had suspended the use of firecrackers till November 1 in Delhi-NCR to test whether and how much, firecrackers contribute to the air quality.
The apex court had 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.