Top
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

SC Bans Sale Of Fire Crackers In Delhi/NCR Ahead Of Diwali; Ban To Remain Till Nov 1[Read Judgment]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
9 Oct 2017 6:09 AM GMT
SC Bans Sale Of Fire Crackers In Delhi/NCR Ahead Of Diwali; Ban To Remain Till Nov 1[Read Judgment]
x

There will be no sale of crackers in Delhi and National Capital Region area during this Diwali on October 19.A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri put on hold sale of fire crackers with immediate effect.The bench said its September 12 order permitting sale will get implemented only from November 1, 2017.Ten days before Diwali, a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri was delivering verdict on a...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

There will be no sale of crackers in Delhi and National Capital Region area during this Diwali on October 19.

A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri put on hold sale of fire crackers with immediate effect.

The bench said its September 12 order permitting sale will get implemented only from November 1, 2017.

Ten days before Diwali, a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri was delivering verdict on a plea filed by three kids- Arjun Gopal and others- seeking restoration of its last year's order banning firecrackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

The bench said it wanted to test the effect of the ban on air quality after Diwali noting that each year festival leaves the air in Delhi thick with smoke

The plea had sought recall of apex court verdict dated September 12 which had temporarily lifted the order of November 11, 2016, suspending permanent licences for sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR.

TODAY'S ORDER

We are of the view that the order suspending the licences should be given one chance to test itself in order to find out as to whether there would be positive effect of this suspension, particularly during Diwali period. Insofar as adverse effects of burning of crackers during Diwali are concerned, those have been witnessed year after year. The air quality deteriorates abysmally and alarmingly and the city chokes thereby. It leads to closing the schools and the authorities are compelled to take various measures on emergent basis, when faced with “health emergency” situation. This very situation had occurred on the very next morning after Diwali in the year 2016. It resulted in passing the order dated November 11, 2016. This order prevailed during the year but the impact and effect of this order remains to be tested on Diwali days. Going by these considerations, we are of the opinion that the judgment dated September 12, 2017 passed by this Court should be made effective only from November 01, 2017. To put it clearly, though we are not tweaking with the various directions contained in the Orders dated September 12, 2017, the effect of that Order would not be given during this Diwali and, therefore, we are making it effective only from November 01, 2017. We are conscious of the fact that after the said order was passed, the police may have issued temporary licences. Accordingly, those are suspended forthwith so that there is no further sale of the crackers in Delhi and NCR. Further orders in this behalf can be passed on assessing the situation that would emerge after this Diwali season.

WHAT THE PETITIONER KIDS ARGUED

In the fresh plea, Gopal Sankaranarayanan has put the blame for nixing of the restriction squarely on the doorsteps of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and other authorities like the Delhi government, accusing them of “suppressing relevant facts” before the SC.

The plea said petitioners got possession of “certain documents” carrying specific information only after the judgment lifting the stay was passed on September 12, 2017.

In a startling disclosure, the petitioners  have alleged that the Central Pollution Control Board suppressed the relevant information to the Supreme Court, which led to its relaxation of its previous ban on crackers, on September 12.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta had modified the SC order passed on November 11 last year and allowed sale of firecrackers but directed the governemnt authorities to ensure that fireworks are not burst in silence zones and also restricted the Delhi Police not to grant temporary licenses to more than 500 shopkeepers.

The CPCB, it has now been disclosed, has taken a stand nearly 20 years ago that Sulphur in fireworks should not be permitted as Sulphur on combustion produces Sulphur Dioxide and the same is extremely harmful to health.

In Sagun Kaushik v Lt. Governor of Delhi & Ors [CWP 3364/1997],  CPCB had told the Delhi High Court that between 9 p.m. to midnight on Diwali day, the levels of Sulphur Dioxide content in the air is dangerously high.

The top court, through its November 11 order last year, had suspended all licences which permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR. Later, on September 12, the apex court had temporarily lifted its earlier order and permitted sale of firecrackers. During the hearing on the plea seeking restoration of last year's order, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had told the bench that they support the application. Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, appearing for petitioner Arjun Gopal, had contended before the court that ban on use of firecrackers should be restored as the NCR had witnessed a huge rise in air pollution during and after Diwali last year. He had said that rise in air pollution during last Diwali was because of several reasons, including the extensive use of firecrackers.

WHAT CRACKER MANUFACTURERS, LICENSEES ARGUED

The counsel, appearing for the permanent licencees selling crackers, had opposed the plea and said the September 12 order temporarily lifting the ban, was well-reasoned and passed after hearing all the parties, including the CPCB. He had argued that all aspects raised by the petitioner now were considered by the apex court while passing the order last month and though firecrackers impacted air quality, it was not the greatest cause of particulate matter (PM) 2.5.

In their fresh IA,  the petitioners on their part alleged that the CPCB had specifically stated that joined crackers should be banned by way of their letter to the Commissioner of Police dated 4.11.1996.   “Neither the CPCB nor the Delhi Police divulged this fact to this Hon’ble Court”, the I.A. says.

The IA further submits that the  Amicus Curiae, appointed by the Delhi High Court in that case, had filed his report dated 14.9.1998 which records that submissions of the MoEF and the CPCB which recommended the instant ban on flying fireworks including rockets), joined crackers and crackers commonly known as Atom Bombs and Maroons.   This has been suppressed by all parties who were in the know of events, the IA further claims.


Read the Judgment Here

Next Story
Share it