The Delhi High Court on Wednesday deferred its hearing till October 22 in a plea seeking modification of Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi Government’s decision to impose a complete ban on the storage, sale, and bursting of all kinds of firecrackers in the capital during Diwali.
The development came after the Division Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was informed that the issue involved in the instant petition is also pending consideration before the Apex Court, which has been listed for further hearing today.
Filed by social activists Rahul Sanwariya and Tanveer, through Advocates Gautam Jha, Pankaj Kumar and Shweta Jha, the plea alleges that the decision to ban all forms of firecrackers is arbitrary and unreasonable inasmuch as there are other potent causes of pollution which have been given a complete go-bye by the Delhi Government.
Citing the decision passed by the Apex Court in the case of “Arjun Gopal vs. Union of India”, wherein the Top Court held that imposing a complete ban on the sale of fireworks would be an extreme step, and instead emphasized on adopting a graded approach to prohibit air pollution in Delhi, the plea avers that by imposing a complete ban, the Delhi Government has tried to overreach and violate the decision of the Apex Court.
“The Respondent has clearly failed whilst using its discretion, he was ought to consider Graded Regulations instead of a complete ban on firecrackers on the auspicious day of Diwali. In fact even the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has acknowledged in the above-mentioned judgments that there have been lots of efforts for production of firecrackers, which do not contain harmful chemicals and thereby not causing air pollution such as “Green Crackers”,” states the plea.
The plea further adds:“By banning completely use of firecrackers only on the occasion of Diwali on an anticipation of Pollution created by this, a month and a – half prior to the day, the Respondent has hurt the sentiments of millions of persons who celebrate Diwali in the NCT of Delhi by use of fire crackers irrespective of caste and religion. The decision of the Respondent is not suitable and legitimate because it is not capable of achieving the ultimate aim to curb Pollution in the NCT Of Delhi.”
In light of the above, the plea seeks “Graded Regulations” instead of a complete ban on firecrackers during the ensuing Diwali festival. In addition, the plea prays for a direction to the Delhi Government to provide details about the steps taken by the Government to curb pollution in Delhi since the year 2017 onwards.
The plea reads thus:“The interference of the Respondent by its decision/order is not proportionate to the ultimate aim and objective i.e to curb the Pollution in the NCT Of Delhi. The decision is arbitrary and patently erroneous. The Respondent has imposed a complete ban on the fire crackers on the Diwali whilst giving a complete go bye to the main source and cause of the Pollution in the NCT Of Delhi for instance, the vehicular pollution, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) burning, stubble burning, pollution cause by fly ash etc. Clearly, the Respondent has not fairly balanced the priorities while coming to a decision.”