Ahead of the festive season, the state Home department Saturday directed district magistrates and police officials across Gujarat to issue prohibitory orders restricting the use of firecrackers under the Criminal Procedure Code Section 144. Sale and use of firecrackers usually pick up across the state between Diwali and New Year.
In an official communication, issued by KK Nirala, the Additional Secretary (law and order), police commissioners, range IGs, and district magistrates across the state were intimated that prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144, in compliance with the state government’s 2018 circular that lays down safety measures for controlling pollution due to firecrackers, has to be issued. The CrPC section 144 authorises the executive magistrate to issue an order in urgent cases of a nuisance of apprehended danger.
The communication mentions that the intimation comes considering the upcoming Diwali festival, followed by Christmas and New Year. It also notifies that districts must take cognizance of firecrackers illegally imported, hoarded, or sold and take action according to guidelines laid down by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
Gujarat DGP Ashish Bhatia said it was a routine directive and “district magistrates and police commissioners will now issue prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 (following the communication from the home department)”, as was done each year with usual set of terms and conditions pertaining to noise decibel and pollution levels, celebration permissible in own areas only and limitations on timings for bursting firecrackers.
On Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had said the state government would soon take an appropriate decision on allowing firecrackers during Diwali if the National Green Tribunal (NGT) did not issue any directive in the matter.
Gujarat, he added, with its vast expanse is “much better placed” than New Delhi in terms of pollution. The Deputy CM also said the state government will take a decision on the matter while considering that pollution levels in Gujarat is not as dangerous as in national capital.
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