The Supreme Court on Monday reimposed ban on sale of crackers in the entire National Capital Region till October 31 in view of concerns relating to pollution caused by release of smoke and chemicals in the air. I feel, the timing of this SC order is wrong. Diwali falls on October 19 this year, and most of the wholesale and retail vendors of firecrackers had made big plans to sell their wares.
In recent weeks, sale has been brisk, but the SC ban has spoiled festivity cheer. A large section of the people are questioning why Hindu festivals are being targeted every time. It is surprising that the SC order has come on the basis of a petition filed two years ago by three children, of whom two were kids, hardly six months old, and the third child was then 14 months old. On behalf of this children, it was argued before the apex court that firecrackers cause air pollution and adversely affect the health of young children and the aged.
The apex court had given its first order on November 11, 2016 banning the sale of firecrackers till further orders. Licences issued to shopkeepers were suspended. The shopkeepers went to the Supreme Court, and on September 12 this year, it made changes, allowed controlled sale of crackers and nearly 500 shopkeepers got licences. But on Monday, the apex court reversed its decision, ordered ban on sale till October 31, and said that the Sept 12 order allowing controlled sale of firecrackers will be effective from November 1. A large number of shopkeepers selling firecrackers has been adversely impacted by this order, coming in the wake of Delhi, as they had made big investments. I think this will be injustice towards them.
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