Supreme Court refuses to relax firecracker ban in Delhi-NCR

Expressing its anguish that its order was being given a communal colour, the apex court said that no one is stopped from celebrating Diwali.

Published: 13th October 2017 01:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2017 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Refusing to modify its order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court Friday said it is pained and sad to know that the order has been given a communal colour.
A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said, “I am very spiritual person, but this is something different. Some people are trying to give a communal tinge to our order but we will consider that as people expressing their anguish at our order.” The response from the bench came while it was referring to statements made on social media with regard to the order with some people objecting to it because of the impact on the celebration of a Hindu festival.

Asking the Delhi Police to implement the order in view of Diwali next week, the court said people can continue to burst crackers that were purchased before the ban came into effect. “It hasn’t stopped people from celebrating the Festival of Lights and moreover it’s just an experiment for one year, we will take stock,” the bench said while refusing to give any relief to a group of traders seeking modification of its October 9 order by which the sale of firecrackers was banned until October-end.

The traders had Thursday mentioned the matter before the apex court for urgent hearing and said their licences were revived in pursuance of the court’s order passed on September 12 and they had procured firecrackers for sale during Diwali. The bench said its only concern is public health.

Former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the traders, requested the court for a little more time to sell the crackers as a huge amount of money has been invested by them after their licences were revived and the latest order would cause a big loss to them.

The apex court, while banning sale of firecrackers till October 31, had said that its September 12 order temporarily lifting the stay and permitting sale of firecrackers, would be made effective only from November 1. It had said its November 11, 2016, order suspending the licences “should be given one chance to test itself” to examine if it would have a positive effect, particularly during Diwali.
The court, in its 2016 direction, suspended all licenses which permit the sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail, in NCR until further orders.

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