Cracker ban to stay, SC says ‘pained’ by religious tone
New Delhi: The ban on sale of firecrackers in NCR will continue till October 31as the Supreme Court refused to modify its order to allow traders to sell them during Diwali, on Friday.
The bench also expressed anguish over attempts by some people to give a communal colour to its order and said, “We are pained to hear such statements.” The bench said people who had purchased firecrackers before the ban order was passed could use them on Diwali. The court asked all the parties not to politicise the issue. Making a last ditch effort to impress upon the apex court the need to lift the ban, the sellers had urged a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that they should at least be allowed to sell firecrackers during Diwali, saying it is integral to the festival.
“Diwali is being celebrated for years and Delhi is not the only place where it is celebrated ... residents of NCR should not be deprived ... The court should restrict the time for sale and fix timing for bursting firecrackers,” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi contended.
The bench, however, refused to relax its ban order saying it would be in force till October end and the order was passed to get a fair idea on pollution level in the city on Diwali as compared to last year. The Punjab and Haryana highc ourt has said crackers can be burnt in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for three hours on Diwali—from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.