A bench comprising of Justice A.K.Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan, on Tuesday ruled against the total ban on manufacture and sale of firecrackers throughout the nation. As an alternative measure they imposed time limit to burst the crackers for this festive season.
This decision is put forth in response to a plea seeking for total ban on manufacture and sale of firecrackers throughout India to curb the pollution.
The apex court allowed the manufacture and sale of green crackers that along with low emission should have permitted decibel limits. The aim is to celebrate the festivals with limited pollution.
During Diwali, which is due in next 15 days (November 7), the court suggested public to have community bursting of crackers. While the judges gave a time limit of two hours between 8PM to 10 PM for Diwali, it was half an hour from 11:45 to 12:15 for the New Year’s Eve and Christmas.
Decision to maintain balance
This is especially done to achieve two objectives – to respect the interest of people to celebrate the festival and to have a clean and pollution free environment. These objectives represent two categories of people.
The apex court said that the demands of both the category people are justified under the Article 21 (right to life) of the Indian Constitution and its decision reflects a balance for both.
E-commerce website and restricted sale
The Supreme Court also warned the e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart to not to sell firecrackers beyond the permissible limit. If these sites are found not adhering to the court’s decision, they will have to face charges for the contempt of court.
2017 Firecracker ban
Last year on October 9th, the Supreme Court had banned the sale of firecrackers temporarily during Diwali. The traders that went seeking the court’s permission to sell crackers for a day or two before Diwali were refused the same.
The court refused and dismissed the traders’ plea.
Speaking on the same the court said, last year’s temporary ban was an experiment to examine the effects of pollution levels.
This year the firecracker manufactures not only requested the court earlier to not ban the manufacture of crackers completely but also asked it regulate crackers instead.
The apex court had even asked Centre to suggest measures to reduce the pollution and the after effects of firecrackers.