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Supreme Court upholds NGT order banning sale of firecrackers in cities with poor air quality

“Whatever can be controlled, should be controlled”, said the apex court, while clarifying that the ban is only on the sale of firecrackers and not on their manufacture.

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the appeal challenging the order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), banning sale of firecrackers during the COVID times in all cities and towns across the country reporting ‘poor’ air quality index (AQI).

Senior Advocate PS Narasimha, who appeared for sellers and dealers of firecrackers, informed the Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna that a total ban has been imposed on firecrackers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Court clarified that the ban is in place only in places where air quality is poor and the ban is only in sale and not on manufacture.

“Whatever can be, controlled should be controlled”, said the Court.

Advocate Sai Deepak J, representing a seller of firecrackers, argued that as per an IIT Kanpur report, firecrackers are not even in the list of top 15 factors, which contribute to air pollution.

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Justice AM Khanwilkar on this point remarked, “Do you need IIT to understand that fire crackers impact your health? Ask someone staying in Delhi what happens during Diwali”.

The top court of the country, while dismissing the appeals, said that if air quality improves, the authorities may permit sale and use of firecrackers as per the AQI and no clarification or interference is warranted.


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