NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Tuesday decide whether the sale of firecrackers should be banned in the country or not. A number of petitions have been filed in the top court seeking a direction to ban the sale of firecrackers.
The apex court had in August said that it needs to take into account all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country while considering a plea for a ban on firecrackers.
The court had said the Article 21 (right to life) of Constitution applies to both segments of people and it needs to maintain a balance while considering a countrywide ban on firecrackers.
The court had also asked the Centre to file an affidavit giving details of measures to be taken for curbing pollution and what is the effect of firecrackers on the public at large. "There are economic aspects attached to it.
The government affidavit says there are 1,750 firecrackers manufacturing industries in Tamil Nadu, which employs 5,000 families directly or indirectly. It says firecrackers industries are worth Rs 6,000 crore. We have to see what is the relevance of economic aspect on the fundamental rights," the bench had said.
The apex court had said that a spike in PM 2.5 levels in the air is a severe problem as the particulate matter remains in people's lungs, leading to serious health implications.
Firecrackers manufacturers had told the court that the use of firecrackers should not be completely banned and it should instead be strictly regulated.
They have contended that the crackers are not the reason for the increase in air pollution and there are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it. They said the firecracker manufacturers can be deprived of their right to do business based on statements which were not supported by facts.
On October 9 last year, the top court temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali. Later, the court refused to relax its order while dismissing a plea by traders who had sought permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19, 2017.
The apex court said its ban order during Diwali that year was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution levels in the region.
(With Agency Inputs)