The Supreme Court will on Tuesday give its verdict on a petition seeking a nationwide ban on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers to check air pollution, PTI reported. A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had reserved its verdict on August 28.

The Centre has opposed the petition, and suggested that the Supreme Court issue an order to impose rules on the manufacture and sale of high-decibel crackers. The government asked the court to prioritise “green crackers” instead, and suggested designating specific areas to burst firecrackers in states.

During an earlier hearing, the bench had pointed out that air pollution was a major threat to children, and burning of crackers increases the toxicity in the air during Diwali. The top court said it will examine if there should be a total or “reasonable” ban on the use of firecrackers.

The court also said there is a need to take into account the fundamental right of livelihood of manufacturers and the right to health of citizens. Manufacturers had told the court that the use of firecrackers should not be completely banned but should be strictly regulated. They said the firecrackers are not the reason for the increase in air pollution alone.

Last year, the Supreme Court had banned the sale of firecrackers during Diwali in Delhi and the National Capital Region, saying it wants to assess the difference in air quality in the highly polluted region. However, a month before this ban, the court had said that a complete ban would be extreme and stressed the need for a phased reduction in the use of firecrackers.