NEW DELHI: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Sunday demanded compensation from the Union Government in lieu of losses incurred by firecracker traders in the National Capital Region, after they were forced to discontinue the sale of firecrackers by virtue of the recent order of the Supreme Court.
In a communication sent to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the CAIT asserted that firecracker traders in Delhi incurred huge losses with no fault of theirs.
“In furtherance of the order of the Supreme Court of September 12, they were issued licenses by the Competent Authority to sell firecrackers and accordingly, the traders procured requisite stocks of crackers in Delhi NCR. All of a sudden, on October 9, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi NCR, which has caused damage and loss to the traders concerned. The traders filed a review petition in the apex Court, but it has directed to maintain status quo on the order issued and keep the ban in practice,” it said.
CAIT national president B.C. Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal argued that with the sale of firecrackers being a seasonal affair, most people involved in this work round the year and save money for this business which lasts only for about a fortnight. By savings, they procure goods and earn money to supplement their families. The savings of such people engaged in this business have been put at stake, they noted.
The union also argued that since the sale of firecrackers is a legitimate business, a duty is cast upon the government to compensate the unintended losses being caused by an order of the apex court where traders are not at fault. The principle of natural justice demands that traders must be protected from incurring losses and therefore such loss needs to be compensated, it argued.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court restored the ban on the sale of firecrackers till November 1, saying it wanted to test the effect of the ban on air quality after Diwali.
The Apex Court, on October 6, had reserved its order on the review petition over lifting the ban on firecrackers. It had temporarily lifted its earlier order suspending licence for the sale of firecrackers on September 12, saying a complete ban would be an "extreme step" and a graded approach was needed to curb pollution.
The top court also allowed the Delhi Police to issue a licence to shopkeepers for sale of firecrackers, adding that the number of licences issued should not exceed 500.