NEW DELHI: Indicating a possible rethink on its previous order banning fire-crackers in the national capital and other parts of the country, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from Centre in this regard.
According to news agency ANI, the top court directed the Centre to give a comparative study on pollution caused by fire-crackers and automobiles.
The SC also asked, "what about the rights of the unemployed workers in cracker factories? Can't leave them hungry. We did not wish to generate unemployment. If the occupation is legal and duly licensed how can you stop it?". SC fixed the matter for further hearing to April 3 https://t.co/JWKfwbLjI3
— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2019
''Why people are running after fire-crackers and seeking a ban on it when it seems that automobiles are a bigger polluter,'' the Supreme Court said as it asked the Centre to give a region-wise data on pollution caused by fire-crackers and vehicles.
''Is there any data to show what proportion of pollution is caused by firecrackers? It seems people are gunning for fire-crackers when vehicles are a greater pollutant,'' the top court observed.
Making its observation known, the top court said that due to the ban on fire-crackers, thousands of people have been rendered jobless.
"What about the rights of the unemployed workers in cracker factories? We can't leave them hungry. We did not wish to generate unemployment. If the occupation is legal and duly licensed, how can you stop it?" the top court said.
The apex court said that it will take up the case after Holi and fixed it for further hearing on April 3.
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had last year imposed a partial ban on fire-crackers across the country, putting certain conditions on their sale and use on different occasions, including Diwali.
A two-member bench said only “green crackers” — which have low emission and permissible sound limits — can be sold through licensed traders as it ordered a ban on online trade of fire-crackers.
The court also said that e-commerce companies will be held for contempt of court if they failed to adhere to the court order.
Considering widespread air pollution concerns, the bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan fixed a timeline for bursting crackers: between 8 PM and 10 PM on Diwali, and between 11.45 PM and 12.30 AM on Christmas Eve and New Year.
It also directed the Centre to encourage community cracker bursting during Diwali and other festivals in Delhi-NCR.
The bench also said that the station house officers of police stations concerned will be held liable if banned crackers are sold in their respective areas.