Several States had sought modification of the recent order on ban of e-retail of crackers and two-hour time limit for bursting fire crackers on Diwali
In a minor dilution of its recent order which directed that bursting of fire crackers this Diwali will be allowed only between 8 pm and 10 pm across India in lieu of the rising levels of air pollution, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday (October 30), allowed States – particularly in southern India – set the time slot according to their traditions. However, the top court has reiterated that, irrespective of the slot chosen by the state government, the time limit of 2 hours for bursting of crackers will remain in force.
The Bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan refused to make any other dilutions in its recent order which, among other directives, laid out that e-retailing of crackers will be banned completely and that only “green crackers” – those without the poisonous chemical Barium – will be manufactured, sold and used during Diwali or on any other occasion.
Several States had pleaded that the court make some relations in the stringent guidelines laid out by it in view of the large scale manufacturing of the fire crackers that had already been executed. However, the court declined to entertain these pleas while directing the counsel for Centre and the State to file an affidavit on Wednesday (October 31) regarding use of barium in fire crackers.
Though initially reluctant to grant permission to Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry which had demanded relaxation in the 8pm to 10 pm time slot mandated for bursting of crackers on Diwali, the court eventually allowed States to decide the time slot as per traditions of celebrating the festival of lights in their respective areas of jurisdiction. However, the court made it clear that the 2-hour time slot mandated by it in its earlier order will not be relaxed and cannot be breached by the States.
—India Legal Bureau