A group of traders on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its October 9 order banning sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1.The traders are seeking permission to sell their stocks during the upcoming festive season of Diwali.
The Supreme Court on Monday banned the sale of firecrackers till November 1, asserting that it wants to assess the impact on the air quality.
The traders told the apex court that their licences were revived in pursuance of the apex court's order passed in September 12 and they procured firecrackers for sale during Diwali.
A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi, A M Sapre and Navin Sinha assured the counsel for the traders that it would consult the judge concerned, who had passed the order, for placing their interim application for urgent hearing.
Lawyer Deepak Chauhan, representing trader Rajesh Kalia and several others, said that a huge amount of money has been invested by them after their licences were revived and the recent order of the apex court would cause huge losses to them.
The court, while banning the sale of firecrackers till November 1, had also said that its September 12 order temporarily lifting the stay and permitting sale of firecrackers, would be made effective only from November one.
The court had said that the November 11, 2016 order suspending the licences "should be given one chance to test itself" to see if there would be a positive effect of this, particularly during Diwali.
The court, in its last year's direction, had suspended all licenses which permits sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR till further orders.
It had said that the November 11 last year order, suspending all licences which "permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR", was passed by the court keeping in view the situation that had arisen after last Diwali.
Following the October 9 order, the Delhi Police has cancelled around 400 temporary firecracker licenses and 150 permanent ones. Since the order on Monday, over 40 shops selling firecrackers have been sealed by the district administration in Ghaziabad.
The ban by the Supreme Court has left the shopkeepers in anger and dismay, with many of them threatening to go on strike and insisting that they won’t follow the order.
Shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar and Jama Masjid, two of Delhi’s biggest cracker markets, said that with losses running into crores, their Diwali was going up in smoke.
“All dealers across NCR have been affected. The ban was imposed in 2016 last year and was lifted temporarily around 20 days back. Now, what will be do with the old stock? Crackers worth crores will go waste,” Amit Jain, who sells firecrackers in Jama Masjid, told PTI.
Another dismayed shopkeeper in Sadar Bazar asked the top court to “ban nuclear weapons, not crackers”.
The ban is likely to affect the lives of lakhs of workers in Tamil Nadu’s fireworks manufacturing hub of Sivakasi that fears a loss of more than Rs 1,000 crore.
Fireworks manufacturers in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi, which accounts for 85 per cent of all crackers sold in the country, said that they are worried that other states might follow the footprints of the top court order.
The small town has an annual estimated turnover of about Rs 7,000 crore and employs more than 300,000 workers directly in the factories that manufacture firecrackers. Another 500,000 workers work in related industries like packaging, printing and paper rolling transportation.
(With PTI inputs)