In an attempt to check the alarming pollution level in the air the Supreme Court imposed a temporary ban on firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region, with the traders feeling the pinch in their pockets. The ban on the sale of firecrackers will apply till November 1st, however, it was not explicitly mentioned in the order if the bursting of crackers was banned as well.
So those who have already purchased crackers for Diwali can burst them. The apex court through its verdict on 11th November 2016 suspended all licenses which permit the sale of fireworks, wholesale as well as retail within the Delhi and NCR region. Later on September 12th the Supreme Court had temporarily lifted orders and permitted the sale of fireworks. On Thursday moving their petition the traders called for an urgent hearing saying they had sought their license to sell crackers in confirmation with the Supreme Court’s ruling and were fearing a huge loss in case their crackers were not sold.
However, in a petition filed by a group of traders challenging the ban on crackers, the apex court refused to lift the ban on crackers and maintained that it will apply till October 31st until the further hearing in the case. The SC stated that it’s aware of the fact that the ban cannot be entirely fruitful but it can to a great extent decrease the pollution level.
The Supreme Court order has ruffled some feathers in the social media with the Twitterati responding to the ban as an insult to a “Hindu Festival.” Writer Chetan Bhagat launched a scathing attack on the SC verdict, saying,” if crackers were banned in Diwali, “the same should hold for goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed”.
Tripura governor Tathagata Roy also took to twitter describing the apex court’s decision to ban the crackers as outrageous and “anti-Hindu”. He further tweeted slamming the SC verdict saying,” First, they targeted the ‘Dahi Handi’ custom, now its fireworks, perhaps tomorrow the ‘award wapsi gang’ will use environmental pollution as an excuse to call for an end to Hindus cremating their dead”.
The SC ban even invoked sharp criticism from a Delhi BJP spokesperson Pravin Shankar Kapoor, who said, “The world over in hundreds of countries people burn crackers on Christmas and the New Year but the way (Green Tribunal) has got Diwali firecrackers banned in the name of pollution is disgusting. More so as it ignores the pollution caused due to animal sacrifice by followers of a particular religion.”
Hearing this the Supreme Court said that it was pained to hear that some people are giving communal colour to its verdict and it doesn’t want to get maligned with politics.
The court reiterated that: “It will be against the spirit of our orders. We are not going to relax the order on the sale of crackers. This is an experiment. After Diwali, we will take stock of the situation.”