The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that there will not be a complete ban on the firecrackers and instead has opted to regulate their sales. The court in its order has put restrictions on the timings between which firecrackers can be burst on the occasion of festivals.
On Diwali, the court has said that the use of firecrackers would only be allowed from 8 pm to 10 pm. Whereas on Christmas and New Years, they will be used only from 11.45 pm to 12.45 am. However, the court has disallowed the online sale of firecrackers.
Meanwhile, the court also maintained that the order is not confined to Diwali only and is applicable to all religious events. The court said that the duration of burning firecrackers will remain between 8 pm to 10 pm for all other religious events.
The court also put out guidelines on what products could be ignited. Barium salt and other substances producing a lot of noise are banned and only crackers with lower emission levels are allowed. Also, the manufacturing of green and safe crackers is allowed, but the sale would only be done through licensed owners.
When it comes to Delhi-NCR, only designated and handpicked areas by CPCB will be allowed to burst crackers in the allowed time frame of 8 pm to 10 pm. The two-judge bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan directed the Centre to encourage community cracker bursting during festivals in Delhi-NCR, The Indian Express reported.
The court has maintained that “all state pollution boards and the Central Pollution Control Board will regulate and measure the particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 in the air, seven days ahead and after Diwali”, Vijay Panjwani, Advocate of Central Pollution Control Board told the reporters outside court.
While not ordering for a blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers, the apex court observed that the Article 21 of the Constitution applied to the firecracker manufacturers as well and hence a balance was needed while considering a countrywide ban.