Govt told to give publicity to the order on no crackers from 10 pm to 6 am and health hazards
GN Bureau | October 28, 2015
The supreme court on Wednesday has declined to put a blanket ban on bursting of firecrackers during Diwali as it might be "dangerous" to infringe into the common man's right to enjoy religious festivities.
The court was hearing a petition filed through the legal guardians of the infants demanding, among other things, a total ban on the use of firecrackers during festivals.
The three toddlers had approached the supreme court for relief against the air pollution caused by firecrackers during Diwali. A bench led by chief justice HL Dattu said: "the court cannot stop people from bursting crackers in front of their homes."
The chief justice observed, "If we try to stop, he will say it is my right. Such a ban will lead to a dangerous situation. Chaos."
Reiterating its 2005 order prescribing time limit to avoid causing disturbance to the public during "night time", the bench pulled up the Centre for not publishing warning of health hazards. In the 2005 order, the court had defined "night time" as the hours between 10 pm and 6 am.
The Centre’s contention was not in favour of a blanket ban as it said that bursting of crackers during Diwali is not the only cause for air pollution.
It said “causes and mitigation of air pollution is multi-sectoral in nature and air pollution may be prevented, abated and controlled by a multi-disciplinary approach through joint efforts of various ministries/departments.”
Hindu organisations countered the petition saying bursting crackers on Diwali has been the Hindu tradition for hundreds of years and implementing a complete ban will hurt their religious sentiments.
The petition was also opposed by organisation of firecracker manufacturers saying the ban would seriously affect the industry and the livelihood of lakhs of workers.
Meanwhile, the court also dismissed arguments made by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi to prescribe a time limit and even designate public spaces where people can burst crackers.
"Sorry. We cannot tell everybody to go to some Nehru maidan and burst crackers," the chief justice said.
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