Ten days before Diwali, seeking restoration of its last year’s order on the ban of fire crackers, Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AK Sikri put hold on the sale of fire crackers with immediate effect and permitting the sale to get implemented from November 1 only. The reason put forwarded by the bench was that it wanted to test if the ban is really effective because every year, Diwali leaves the air in Delhi with a thick smoke causing adverse effects as witnessed year after year. The plea filed by three kids also asked the Supreme Court to recall its order dated September 12 with respect to temporarily lifting the order dated November 11, 2016 which suspended the permanent licenses for the sale of fire crackers.
SC in its verdict said that this step is necessary in order to find out if there would be any positive effect of suspending the licenses, particularly during the Diwali Period and it is worthwhile giving a test. The quality of the air has deteriorated alarmingly and abysmally year after year leading to a health emergency situation compelling the authorities to take various measures on emergent basis such as closing of schools etc. It also suspended the temporary licenses with the immediate effect which may have been issued by the Police authorities as per the directions given in the order dated September 12, 2017 on the sale of fire crackers in Delhi.
The petitioner have argued that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Government authorities have been suppressing the relevant facts with regard to the sale of fire crackers and its effect which led the Supreme Court to modify its order dated November 11, 2016. The CPCB in its stand disclosed that it took a stand nearly 20 years ago to stop permitting the use of Sulphur in fire crackers which on combustion produces Sulphur Dioxide which is extremely harmful to health. The petitioners also alleged that CPCB specifically stated that use of joined crackers should be banned by the way of its letter to the Commissioner of Police dated 4.11.1996 and neither the CPCB nor the Delhi Police divulged this fact to the Supreme Court.
The cracker manufacturers and the licenses opposed the plea filed by the petitioner and supported the Supreme Court order of September 12 which lifted the ban temporarily on the sale of fire crackers.
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