SC brings back ban on firecrackers in Delhi-NCR

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The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that there will be no sale of firecrackers during Diwali, as it restored a November 2016 order banning the sale and stocking of firecrackers in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

A three-judge bench of Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Sapre and Ashok Bhushan restored the ban imposed on November 11, 2016 after Diwali previous year.

As an advocate argues in this News18 report: "Say for example the firecracker business is based out of Bengaluru, and the order is made from Delhi, the seller can reject the order considering the area of purchase falls under the SC order".

Last year, the top court had suspended all licences which "permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR". No such licenses shall be granted or renewed till further orders. The apex court order misses out on a directive for such online sale of firecrackers.

On October 6, a bench of Justices AK Sikri, Abhay Manohar Sapre and Ashok Bhushan reserved its order on the plea seeking restoration of the top court's a year ago order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR.

In its order the Bench pointed out that as the ban was imposed a year ago after Diwali, the NCR did not have the benefit to test air quality without bursting of crackers.

A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Sapre and Ashok Bhushan reverted to its November 2016 decision to suspend sales of firecrackers "to test itself to find out whether there would be a positive effect of this suspension, particularly during Deepavali period". The apex court bench observed that due to the adverse effects of burning of firecrackers, "the air quality deteriorates abysmally and alarmingly and the city chokes thereby".

"There is virtually a consensus in society that crackers should not be burnt during Deepavali, which can be celebrated with equal fervour by various other means as well.We have the direct evidence of deterioration of air quality at alarming levels, which happens every year".

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