The Supreme Court on Monday reinstated the ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice A K Sikri upheld the November 11, 2016 order suspending all licences which “permit sale of fireworks wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR”.
On September 12, a two-judge bench of Justices Madam B Lokur and Deepak Gupta had lifted the ban partially.
Allowing partial relief to those holding permanent licences for selling the fireworks, the court modified its November 2016 order suspending all such licences and allowed them to sell subject to compliance with the court’s directions and with the Explosives Rules. The bench, however, added that this might require a review after Diwali depending on the air quality then.
The court also fixed the maximum number of licences that could be granted for the sale of these materials in Delhi at 500 and in the NCR at 50 per cent of what was allowed in 2016.
However, this was again challenged on the ground that it led to air pollution in Delhi-NCR which in turn posed serious health risks.
The court referred to awareness programmes conducted by government agencies to dissuade people from using fireworks and said this showed there was a consensus on the air pollution caused by the use of fireworks.
The bench said it wanted to see what effect suspending the licences for one more year will have on the air quality.