Madras HC bans online sale of crackers till Nov 15

A fireworks trader filed the petition citing loss of business as well as safety concerns.

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday banned online sale of crackers till November 15 on a petition by a fireworks trader here who cited loss of business as well as safety concerns.

Justice S Vaidyanathan passed the interim order and issued notice to the deputy chief controller of explosives and the commissioners of the Chennai Police and the corporation. Petitioner M Shaik Abdullah sought a direction to the respondents to consider his September 23 representation for issue of prohibitory orders restraining the retail sales of crackers through online.

The petitioner submitted that he was a member of the Chennai Metro Fireworks Dealers Association and had been selling crackers at the designated place notified by the licensing authorities for the past 15 years.

The 118-member association was committed to supporting the fireworks cottage industry in Sivakasi and surrounding villages, he said, adding that they were selling only indigenous crackers made by the cottage. However, several other traders in the city were unlawfully selling crackers online and for the coming Diwali season they have started advertising about the websites through which orders can be placed, the petitioner said.

He claimed that due to "insensible lethargic attitude" of the deputy chief controller of explosives, Chennai, was causing huge loss to the indigenous cracker sellers.

The petitioner contended that online sale of crackers was against the explosives rules and guidelines. Besides, it also posed severe threat to general public as the crackers were stocked, transported and delivered without any safety measures, he claimed.

He sought an interim direction directing the authorities to ban the online sales of crackers.

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