Friday, March 31, 2023

Firecrackers ban: Delhi High Court rejects plea on grounds that matter under consideration of Supreme Court

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The Delhi High Court has today dismissed a petition which challenged the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) order banning the manufacture, sale, storage and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital.

The bench of Single-judge Justice Yashwant Varma said that the Apex Court has already heard the matter and so it would not be appropriate for the High Court to entertain the same.

The Court noted that the material on record showed that the issue of pollution as a result of use of crackers during Diwali was firstly considered by the Supreme Court in Arjun Gopal v Union of India and Ors. The petition of which is still lying in the court. 

The judge also talked about another writ petition by Delhi BJP MP Manoj Tiwari seeking issuance of guidelines in respect of the sale, purchase and bursting of firecrackers.

That petition has also challenged the banning orders issued by different states, Justice Varma observed.

The High Court ordered that the said writ petition, in terms of order of October 10, 2022, has been tagged with the main matter of Arjun Gopal. In view of this it would not be appropriate to entertain an independent challenged here. The petition, therefore, is dismissed.

The DPCC had issued an order on September 14 stating a complete ban on manufacturing, storage, selling (including delivery through online marketing platforms) and bursting of all kinds of fire-crackers upto January 1, 2023.

The plea filed by two firms involved in sale, purchase and storage of green crackers said that the DPCC orders are contrary to NGT which has allowed sale and use of cracker in areas where air quality is ‘moderate’.

The plea requests that the air-quality in New Delhi has been moderate or better at least since 15th August, 2022. In this view, there is no occasion to impose a ban on the use of even green crackers.

It was contended that the Delhi Police had issued an advertisement for grant of temporary fireworks licenses earlier this month and that relying on this advertisement as well as court orders passed from time to time, the petitioners along with other sellers stocked up green crackers.

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