The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a blanket ban on sale and stocking of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR with immediate effect, and also suspended all such licences. A bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur directed the Centre to immediately suspend all licences of fireworks in Delhi-NCR till further orders. “No such licence shall be granted or renewed till our further orders,” said the bench, also comprising Justice A K Sikri and Justice S A Bobde.
The court order will, in effect, mean a complete ban on all largescale fireworks in Delhi-NCR since it prohibits sale, stocking as well as its possession in substantive quantity. Besides, all fireworks at largescale displays, including at Ramlilas, temple festivals and melas, require a licence, which the top court said cannot be granted any further.
This order, however, may not impact celebratory fireworks by private persons at, say, a wedding if the firecrackers are procured from a different state. The detailed order was not released by the court on Friday.
Apart from imposing the ban, the court also asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to study and prepare a report to show what elements were used in the manufacturing of the firecrackers in order to ascertain if they were harmful to people.
The order came on a PIL moved by three toddlers, aged between three and 14 months, who, through their parents, urged the court to completely ban the bursting of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR.
In a PIL, filed through their parents, toddlers Arjun Goyal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin, all residents of Delhi, sought an array of directives from the top court to protect their fundamental right for a clean and healthy environment.
During a previous hearing of this PIL, the court had stated that the whole of Delhi will have to shut down one day if “severe”
pollution is not checked. The bench had observed that it may completely ban bursting of firecrackers, including at religious festivals.