The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday banned bursting of crackers on Diwali after 10pm in the state. It also prohibited the same within the 100 meter radius of hospitals.
A division bench, comprising Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary and Justice Vivek Thakur, passed the orders on a petition filed by Naresh Scott, a citizen of Shimla, who raised concerns about the inconvenience and discomfort patients had to face during bursting of crackers. The petitioner’s counsel, Neha Scott, said it wanted to bring to the court’s attention the fact that women and children, especially, were more vulnerable to pulmonary diseases emanating from air pollution.
The bench asked Chief Secretary V C Pharka and Director General of Police Somesh Goyal to ensure compliance of the order. “We direct the state to ensure that firecrackers are not burnt within a radius of 100 meters from all hospital buildings. The state shall also take precautionary steps to prevent the loss of life and harm to property of the general public that may be caused on account of bursting of firecrackers on Diwali,” the bench said.
The court also observed that though Diwali was a festival celebrated throughout the country with fervour and enthusiasm since the time of Ramayana, one should not forget that during the course of such festivities the interests of citizens belonging to the marginalised sections of the society also need to be protected.