On 9 October last year, the Supreme Court temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali on the grounds of rising pollution levels, and the ban was imposed as an experiment to examine these levels. At 10:45am today, the Supreme Court delivered their final verdict by allowing the sale and use of firecrackers with stringent conditions.
The SC has refused to impose a nationwide ban on crackers by allowing the use of green crackers, which are supposedly less polluting. The verdict, which comes 15 days ahead of Diwali, is in response to a plea seeking a ban on the manufacturing and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution.
Post the verdict, SC announced the conditions under which the firecrackers can be sold and used. According to reports by NDTV,
Supreme Court directs CPCB to monitor Air Quality: Supreme court directs Central Pollution Control Board to monitor air quality 7 days before and 7 days after Diwali.
Bursting of crackers allowed only in community areas: Only designated community areas in Delhi-NCR identified by Central Pollution Control Board will be allowed for bursting.
Timings for bursting crackers across India during festivals: Supreme Court allows bursting of crackers on Diwali from 8 PM to 10 PM. On Christmas and New Year, from 11:55 PM to 12:30 AM.
- Only crackers with reduced emissions will be permitted to be manufactured.
- Sale will happen through licence holders.
- No e-commerce players can sell crackers, and if sold, they will be hauled for contempt.
- Extensive public awareness to be undertaken by the government.
- Station house officers of the police station concerned will be held liable if banned firecrackers are sold in their area.
The aforementioned were key highlights of the SC verdict.
After the delivery of the verdict, members of an outfit ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ staged a protest outside the premises of the Supreme Court by bursting firecrackers. According to reports by News 18, “Fourteen people, including three women, have been detained by the police and were taken to the Tilak Marg police station. The members, who claimed to be from an outfit called the Azad Hind Fauj, were led by a man named Satpal Malhotra.”
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