No blanket ban on firecrackers, can burst green crackers from 8-10pm on Diwali: SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to impose a nationwide blanket ban on sale of firecrackers and said that only green crackers with reduced emission and decibel levels will be permitted during all religious festivals.
A bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan however, banned the online sale of firecrackers and put a stay on e-commerce portals from selling them.
In its order, the court said the bursting of firecrackers not conforming to the green norms that would apply all the year round. Besides, it would be applicable to New Year and marriage festivities as well.
The apex court also imposed timing restrictions on burning firecrackers on Diwali. The court said people will be allowed to burn crackers between 8pm and 10 pm on Diwali. On New Year and Christmas, the timing is from 11.45 pm to 12.15 am respectively.
The apex 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 manufacturing and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution and 15 days ahead of Diwali on November 7.
A petition by three toddlers had sought a ban on the manufacture and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution. The SC had reserved its verdict on August 28.
The top court had said that the Article 21 of the constitution on the Right to Life applied to people as well as firecracker manufacturers and a balance was needed while considering a countrywide ban on firecrackers.
On October 9 last year, the court had temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali.
Later, the court refused to relax its order while dismissing a plea by traders who had sought permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali. The top court said its ban order during Diwali that year was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution levels in the region
Here are some important takeaways of the Supreme Court’s verdict
- Court bans sale of firecrackers on e-commerce websites
- Low polluting crackers with permitted decibel limits and emission norms allowed
- Reduced emission crackers are the only things that can be manufactured and sold
- Only those that are within noise pollution limits set in July 2005 verdict are allowed.
- Ladis or chain-firecrackers which are very noisy are banned
- Firecrackers allowed from 8-10 pm on Diwali, 11:55 pm – 12:30 am on Christmas and New Year
- Sale of firecrackers will happen only through licensed vendors
- SHO’s will be held liable if banned crackers are sold in their area