Light trails are left by a firework set off during Diwali celebrations in Delhi. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Supreme Court To Decide On Country-Wide Firecracker Ban Tomorrow

The Supreme Court is likely to rule on a plea seeking ban on manufacture and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan which had reserved its verdict on Aug. 28 is to pronounce the judgement. The apex court had earlier said there’s 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 country-wide 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 Aug. 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 shouldn’t be completely banned but 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 had said the firecracker manufacturers can be deprived of their right to do business based on statements which were not supported by facts.

On Oct. 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 Oct. 19, 2017.