A group of traders today moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its order banning sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR till October 31 on the ground that it was likely to cause huge losses to them.
The plea was mentioned for urgent hearing by advocate Deepak Chauhan before a Bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi, AM Sapre and Navin Sihna. Chauhan said a huge amount of money had been invested by traders following revival of their licences by the top court.
Since two of the judges–Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan–who delivered the cracker ban verdict were part of the Constitution Bench hearing euthanasia case, the Bench told the lawyers that it would consult the judges concerned for placing their plea for urgent hearing. Justice Sapre was there in the cracker ban Bench.
Concerned over poor quality of air, the Supreme Court on October 9 revived the ban on sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region during Diwali.
Modifying its September 12 order relaxing the ban with certain conditions, a Bench headed by Justice AK Sikri said the ban would remain in place till October 31 and the relaxation order permitting sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR could come into play from November 1. Diwali falls on October 19.
“We are of the view that the order suspending the licences should be given one chance to test itself in order to find out as to whether there would be positive effect of this suspension, particularly during Diwali period,” it had said.
Ordering forthwith suspension of all temporary licences issued by the police for sale of firecrackers, the top court had said, “Further orders in this behalf can be passed on assessing the situation that would emerge after this Diwali season.”
“Insofar as adverse effects of burning of crackers during Diwali are concerned, those have been witnessed year after year. The air quality deteriorates abysmally and alarmingly and the city chokes thereby. It leads to closing the schools and the authorities are compelled to take various measures on emergent basis, when faced with health emergency situation,” it had said.
“This very situation had occurred on the very next morning after Diwali in the year 2016. It resulted in passing the order dated November 11, 2016. This order prevailed during the year but the impact and effect of this order remains to be tested on Diwali days,” it added.
The top court, through its November 11 order last year, had suspended all licences which “permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR”. The order was relaxed on September 12 as it temporarily lifted the ban and permitted sale of firecrackers. The court had favoured a “graded approach” to pollution control, saying a complete ban would be an “extreme step”.
Source: The Tribune