A group of fire cracker traders today knocked the doors of the Supreme Court seeking modification of the October 9 order as per which sale of crackers were banned in Delhi/NCR till November 1.
Making an urgent mentioning before a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi, A M Sapre and Navin Sihna, they said that a huge amount of money has been invested by them after their licences were revived and the recent order of the apex court would cause huge loss to them.
They told the court that their licences were revived after the apex court lifted the ban as per an order on September 12 and thereafter they procured firecrackers for sale during Diwali.
Two of the judges Justice A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan who passed the cracker ban order are sitting in the Constitution Bench at present hearing euthanasia case. But Justice Sapre who heard the mentioning was part of cracker ban order bench.
The bench assured the counsel for the traders that it “would consult the judge concerned, who had passed the order, for placing their interim application for urgent hearing”.
Allowing the plea filed by three kids aged between two and four years, the Supreme Court, taking into consideration the “adverse effects” of burning crackers “witnessed year after year” had last Monday banned its sale forthwith.
The court was delivering verdict in the petition filed by Arjun Gopal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin seeking restoration of the ban ordered on November 11 last year.
Their plea explained how children were the worst affected by pollution saying “their lungs are not fully developed, making their systems more vulnerable and prone to lung disease, asthma, coughing, bronchitis, and retarded development of the nervous system and cognitive impairment”.
The court, on petition by cracker manufacturers and license holders had lifted it on September 12 this year holding that the pollution control authorities had not given any "empirical data" to prove crackers was sole reason for extremely poor quality of air in Delhi-NCR post – Diwali.
The court found merit in the argument of Gopal Shankaranarayanan, the lawyer for the kids and father of Arjun Gopal that “ban imposed after last year’s Diwali has been lifted by SC precisely before this year’s Diwali season rendering it entirely without effect as it sustained for the 10 month period when large scale bursting of fireworks does not take place”
Making order lifting the ban effective only from November 1, the court said “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”, said the bench.
The court recounted that Delhi/ NCR witnessed a huge rise in air pollution during and after Diwali last year when poisonous smog enveloped the entire region for three days when pollutants in air where 30 times the permissible standards. “It leads to closing the schools and the authorities are compelled to take various measures on emergent basis, when faced with “health emergency” situation