The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to impose a complete ban on firecrackers, but said there would be conditions on their sale. Firecrackers can be sold only through licences, and there will be no online sale, the court said, according to News18.
The court allowed the use of “green crackers”, and banned those containing barium salt or those producing a lot of noise. The court said firecrackers can be burnt only between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali and other religious festivals, except Christmas Eve and New Year’s night, when they will be allowed between 11.45 pm and 12.45 am, reported Live Law.
The court had reserved its verdict on August 28 after a petition sought a nationwide ban on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers to check air pollution. 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 earlier that 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 firecrackers are not the only reason for the increase in air pollution.
The Centre had 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 had asked the court to prioritise “green crackers” instead, and suggested designating specific areas to burst firecrackers in states.