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  Metros   Delhi  14 Oct 2017  Supreme Court refuses Diwali relief to traders

Supreme Court refuses Diwali relief to traders

THE ASIAN AGE. | J. VENKATESAN
Published : Oct 14, 2017, 3:40 am IST
Updated : Oct 14, 2017, 3:40 am IST

Pained that communal colour given to firecracker ban, says top court.

Hindu activists burn firecrackers in New Delhi on Friday to protest against the Supreme Court ban on its sale. (Photo: Bunny Smith)
 Hindu activists burn firecrackers in New Delhi on Friday to protest against the Supreme Court ban on its sale. (Photo: Bunny Smith)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to modify its October 9 order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) till November 1 for this year’s Diwali.

A bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan observed, “We are pained that some people are giving (it) communal colour. Our concern primarily was the health of the masses. This is a legal issue and we have clearly said that this is an experiment for this year.”

Appearing for the traders, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi submitted a plea saying that the court might allow the sale of crackers for two or three days before Diwali and may consider restricting the timing. He added that traders have invested a huge amount of money after their licences were revived and the latest order would cause massive loss and that the court should modify the order.

Justice Sikri asked the counsel, “Who said we have banned the bursting of crackers? Very frankly, the suspension of sales has not dampened Diwali celebrations. The sales are already taking place. Crackers are already being burst. It is not going to be a cracker-free Diwali in any way.”

The suspension was ordered in a bid to test whether a Diwali without firecrackers this year would have a “positive effect” on the health of citizens and a steadily deteriorating air quality. The court would monitor the post Diwali situation after November 1, the bench added.

While dismissing all applications, the court asked the Delhi police to strictly enforce the order and also consider extending the period of licence of traders as the ban order 
is in force only till November 1.

Taking a serious note of the deteriorating air quality in the NCR, the bench had slapped a ban on sale crackers and asked the government to suspend all temporary licences granted for sale of crackers. It said insofar as the adverse effects of burning of crackers during Diwali are concerned, the air quality deteriorates abysmally and alarmingly and the city chokes thereby. 

Tags: supreme court, national capital region, firecrackers, diwali festival
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi