Supreme Court allows all southern states to burst crackers for 2 hours on Diwali morning
The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed southern states to burst firecrackers in the morning but said the duration should not exceed the two-hour window it had fixed in its October 23 judgment, which banned manufacture of high-emission firecrackers and permitted sale of only green ones.
A bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan also said verbally that the verdict on sale of green firecrackers this Diwali was meant only for the Delhi-NCR and not the entire country. But from next year, once manufacturing begins, only green crackers would be sold in markets across India. A written order clarifying the verdict would be issued on Wednesday, the court said. For the southern states, the bench modified its verdict fixing the 8 pm to 10 pm slot for bursting firecrackers on Diwali. The order came on an application filed by the TN government seeking permission to burst fire crackers between 4:30 am and 6:30 am.
Puducherry, too, made a similar prayer. Tamil Nadu’s request that the two-hour window in the morning be in addition to the evening slot was turned down. “That is not possible. Total duration should not exceed two hours in a day. If you want, you can stagger it (in the morning and evening),” justice Sikri told senior advocate Shekhar Naphade when he made the request.
The bench did not accept Naphade’s suggestion to limit the duration to one-and-half hours each in the morning and evening. It also declined a request for a similar arrangement in Delhi.
The bench heard at length several firecracker manufacturers who sought a modification in and clarification of the October 23 order. It said it had never intended to make the order pan India. But states had started issuing notices to traders and shopkeepers to stop the sale of firecrackers. Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the TN cracker manufacturers’ association, said the court’s verdict went against its own belief to adopt a balanced approach.
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