Supreme Court sets aside HC order banning firecrackers in Bengal
Blanket ban on fireworks in Gurugram, Section 144 imposed; schoolchildren urged not to burst crackers
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the Calcutta High Court order banning firecrackers during Kali Puja, Diwali and other festivals this year to check air pollution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A special bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi also asked the West Bengal government to explore the possibility to ensure that banned firecrackers and related items are not imported in the state at the entry point itself.
The bench, which assembled during the Diwali break to hear the matter, was hearing the pleas against the October 29 order of the high court banning the sale, use and purchase of all types of firecrackers in the state. "The state should ensure that there is no use or display or bursting of firecrackers of any type at all during Kali Puja, Diwali celebrations as well as Chhath Puja, Jagadhatri Puja, Guru Nanak's birthday and Christmas and New Year's eve celebrations this year," the high court had said. It had said that only wax or oil-based diyas may be used for the occasions.
The Gurugram district administration has imposed a blanket ban on the bursting of fireworks on the occasion of Diwali, Gurpurab, Kartik Purnima, Christmas and New Year eve in Gurugram.
The administration has imposed a ban on bursting of fireworks on the days before and after Diwali, which falls on November 4 this year.
The orders have been issued by Gurugram District Collector (DC), Yash Garg on Monday under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CrPC). These orders have been issued in compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court for the safety of the public and to control the level of pollution, he said. To ensure compliance with these orders, the duty of the SHO of the concerned area has been defined.
The order said the concerned station in charge will ensure compliance of these orders and if violated, it would be considered contempt of court for which action can be taken. These orders have come into force with immediate effect in the district. Action will be taken against those who disobey orders under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai Monday urged school children and eco clubs to take a pledge to observe a firecracker-free Diwali.
Firecrackers were originally not part of Diwali celebrations, he claimed while interacting with schoolchildren and representatives of eco clubs at the Delhi Secretariat. "Earlier, people would celebrate Diwali by lighting diyas (earthen lamps). There were no firecrackers. We have to return to the traditional way of celebrating the festival. 'D' stands for diyas and Diwali and 'P' stands for patakhe (firecrackers) and pollution," he said. "I want all of you to promise that you will observe Diwali by lighting diya and not crackers". On October 27, Rai had launched the 'Patakhe Nahi Diya Jalao' campaign to create awareness against burning firecrackers. The minister had warned of strict action under relevant IPC provisions and the Explosives Act against anyone found burning firecrackers. The Delhi government has formed 15 teams at the district level to create awareness among people and to monitor the sale and purchase of firecrackers.