No blanket ban, says SC: Can burst low pollutant crackers on Diwali and New Year within time limits

Bursting of crackers will be allowed only between 8 pm and 10 pm on all religious festivals and for Christmas and New Year celebrations the court allowed between 11.45 pm and 12.45 am.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to impose a nationwide complete ban on the sale of firecrackers and directed to use “safe and green” crackers, reported CNN News 18.

The Supreme Court also ordered the ban on the online sale of firecrackers and put a stay on the e-commerce portals from selling firecrackers. The apex court has now set some conditions on the sale of firecrackers across the country.

The Apex court has held that only “low polluting” green crackers which are within permitted decibel limits and emission norms will be allowed and has urged the states to explore the feasibility of community cracker bursting during festivals.

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A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said that the bursting of crackers will be allowed only between 8 pm and 10 pm on all religious festivals and for Christmas and New Year celebrations the court allowed between 11.45 pm and 12.45 am.

The apex court had earlier said there is a need to take into account all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country while considering a plea for the ban.

The top court had said Article 21 (right to life) of Constitution applies to both segments of people and it needs to maintain a balance while considering a countrywide ban on firecrackers. It had asked the Centre to propose measures to be taken for checking the pollution and had asked to consider the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.

Reportedly, the manufacturers of firecrackers had appealed before the court that there should not be a complete ban on the use of firecrackers but should be strictly regulated. They had argued that crackers are not the only reason for an increase in air pollution.

On August 28, the Supreme Court had reserved its order on the appeal for a nationwide ban on firecrackers to curb the air pollution. The court had reserved its order after hearing the petitioners, firecrackers manufacturers, the Centre and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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