Firecracker ban in NCR to continue as Supreme Court refuses to modify order
New Delhi: The ban on the sale of crackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) is set to continue, as the Supreme Court on Friday refused to modify its earlier order.
Several traders had approached the court saying that the ban order was unfair to them as they had been issued licences for a limited period of time to sell crackers during Diwali and would incur huge losses due to the ban.
A bench headed by justice A.K. Sikri said that the ban would not be lifted but, as interim relief, allowed the licences of traders to be extended for the time period lost under the ban.
Mukul Rohatgi, counsel for traders, also suggested that the court may consider fixing timings for bursting of crackers on the two days of Diwali rather than modifying its ban order.
On 9 October, the court had imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers in NCR that would remain in effect until 31 October and said that any further orders would be passed based on assessment of the situation that would emerge after Diwali.
Any temporary licences issued by the police to firecracker manufacturers would remain suspended for the same time period.
The court passed this order, reimposing its earlier order of 11 November 2016, suspending the sale of firecrackers so as to test the suspension order and ascertain its positive effect on the air quality of the NCR region, particularly during the Diwali period.
The order of 11 November 2016, suspending licences for sale of firecrackers was operative until the next year but its impact had not been tested during the Diwali period.
On 12 September, a bench comprising justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta partially lifted the ban order of November suspending permanent licences in NCR. This order has been upheld by the court in its entirety but would be effective post Diwali.
Under the order, the court had asked traders to utilize their existing stocks and not sell fresh stock. It had also cut temporary licences of the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by 50%. Temporary licences in Delhi were capped at 500.
The court was hearing a plea by three children—Arjun Gopal and two others—seeking restoration of last year’s order, banning sale of firecrackers in view of the worsening air quality in NCR because of extensive use of firecrackers during Diwali.