The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that there will be no ban on the sale of firecrackers, but with certain conditions.
The SC, in its order, permitted the sale and manufacture of “green” crackers, which have low emission across the country. The court said that the firecrackers with permissible decibel sound limits would be allowed to be sold in the market.
The SC restrained e-commerce websites like Flipkart and Amazon from selling firecrackers, which are beyond the permissible limit.
The SC said e-commerce websites would be hauled up for contempt of court if they don’t adhere to court’s direction.
The SC also fixed 8 pm to 10 pm time period for bursting of firecrackers on Diwali and other festivals.
A Bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, had reserved its verdict on August 28 to pronounce the judgement.
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 the 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 Centre to suggest measures to be taken for curbing the pollution and what will be the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.
The apex court had on August 8 said a spike in PM 2.5 levels in the air is a severe problem as the particulate matter remains in people’s lungs, leading to serious health implications.
Firecrackers manufacturers earlier told the court that use of firecrackers should not be completely banned and it should instead be strictly regulated.
They have contended that the crackers are not the reason for increase in air pollution and there are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it.
They have said the firecracker manufacturers can be deprived of their right to do business based on statements which were not supported by facts.
On October 9 last year, the top court temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali.
Later, the court refused to relax its order while dismissing a plea by traders who had sought permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19, 2017.
The apex court said its ban order during Diwali that year was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution levels in the region.