New Plea in supreme court for extending ban on firecrackers in Delhi

NEW DELHI: A fresh plea was today moved in the Supreme Court seeking extension of the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the national capital region beyond October 31.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would consider whether the plea seeking extension of ban on firecrackers can be heard urgently.

The counsel appearing for petitioner Arjun Gopal, on whose plea the court had banned the sale of firecrackers, said the restraint order be extended beyond October 31 keeping in mind the present pollution level in the national capital and the adjoining areas.

On October 13, the apex court had ruled that there would be no sale of firecrackers till October 31. It had expressed anguish that attempts were made to give a political colour to its order banning firecrackers.

The court had refused to relax its October 9 order banning the sale of firecrackers while dismissing a plea by traders who had sought its permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19.

It had said its ban order for this year during Diwali was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution level in the region.

Some of the licencees told the bench that licences granted to them would expire on October 21 while the ban order would be in force till October 31.

The bench had said they could make a request to the authorities to extend the period of licence beyond November 1, when the September 12 order would come into effect. The top court had in September temporarily lifted the ban on sale of crackers with certain conditions.

The traders had moved the top court seeking relaxation on the ban for a further period saying that a huge amount of money had been invested by them after their licences were revived and the ban order would cause a massive loss to them.

The apex court, while banning the sale of firecrackers till October 31, had said its September 12 order would be made effective only from November one.

It had said its November 11, 2016 order suspending the licences “should be given one chance to test itself” to see if there is a positive effect of this, particularly during Diwali.