HC allows Punjab, Hry, UT to issue fresh licences to cracker sellers
The order was passed by high court bench of chief justice RS Jha and justice Rajiv Sharma during resumed hearing of a 2017 suo motu plea initiated by the high court in view of rising pollution due to bursting of firecrackers.Updated: Oct 23, 2019 00:50 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday allowed the governments of Punjab and Haryana and the Chandigarh administration to issue fresh permanent licences for sale of crackers and renew licences, wherever required.
The order was passed by high court bench of chief justice RS Jha and justice Rajiv Sharma during resumed hearing of a 2017 suo motu plea initiated by the high court in view of rising pollution due to bursting of firecrackers.
The high court, however, did not permit the administrations to increase the number of temporary licences beyond those granted last year during Diwali and Dussehra. The number of temporary licences will remain the same as granted last year. As the hearing began, Punjab additional advocate general Anu Chatrath had submitted that in view of 2017 order in which fresh licences were banned by the high court, the state was not even able to renew existing ones, which have got expired. She also sought clarity from the court on the number of temporary licences administrations can allow on Diwali. In 2017, the court had restricted grant of temporary licences at 20% of the total number of temporary licences
issued in 2016.
“…the States of Punjab and Haryana as well as the Union Territory, Chandigarh, will be permitted to consider applications for renewal or grant of permanent licences strictly in accordance with law. It is further clarified that the term `previous year’ with reference to 20% of the temporary licences used in the order passed by this court on 13.10.2017 would mean the year `2016’,” the court said in its order.
As of timings of bursting firecrackers, the high court has not made any changes this time and it would remain the same as fixed by Supreme Court last year. The SC has allowed bursting of firecrackers between a fixed time slot — from 8pm to 10pm for Diwali and 11:55 pm to 12:30 am on other occasions such as Christmas and New Year. As per SC order, the timings can be changed by local administrations but celebrations can’t be permitted beyond two hours.
Timings for bursting firecrackers
On Diwali: From 8 pm to 10 pm
On Gurpurb: From 4 am to 5am and 9 pm to 10 pm
On Christmas and New Year eve: From 11.55 pm to 12.30 am