The Supreme Court temporarily lifted its order of suspending the permanent licences for sale and retail of fire crackers within the National Capital Region (NCR) on Tuesday. However, the SC might review its current order after Diwali depending on the ambient air quality after the festival.
“The suspension of permanent licences as directed by the order dated 11th November, 2016 is lifted for the time being. This might require a review after Diwali depending on the ambient air quality post-Diwali. However, it is made explicit that the sale of fireworks by the permanent licensees must conform to the directions given above and must be fully in compliance with the Explosives Rules,” the bench said.
The bench comprising Justices, MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked Centre and the concerned officials to consider encouraging display of fireworks through community participation instead an individual bursting of crackers.
“Keeping in mind the adverse effects of air pollution, the human right to breathe clean air and the human right to health, the Central Government and other authorities should consider encouraging display of fireworks through community participation rather than individual bursting of fireworks,” it said.
SC appointed a committee led by chairperson of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to conduct a study on the impact of bursting fire crackers during the festive seasons on the health of the people.
“The Delhi Police is directed to reduce the grant of temporary licences by about 50 per cent of the number of licences granted in 2016. The number of temporary licences should be capped at 500,” the bench said.
The court also noted that since there were “enough fireworks available for sale in Delhi and the NCR, the transport of fireworks into Delhi and the NCR from outside should be prohibited. “In our opinion, even 50,00,000 kg of fireworks is far more than enough for Dussehra and Diwali in 2017”.