Only green crackers for Delhi-NCR this Diwali, clarifies SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said only green crackers with reduced emission levels will be sold in Delhi and the crackers that have already been produced would be allowed to be sold in other areas and states for “this Diwali, and other festivals and occasions”.

Referring to its October 30 order, permitting Tamil Nadu, Union Territory of Puducherry and other southern states to stagger the two-hour time limit for the bursting of crackers on Diwali, the bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan clarified that on Gurpurab, fireworks would be allowed for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.

On Gurpurab, fireworks would be allowed from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. in the morning and from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the evening.

The court also clarified that the staggering of two hours limit that has been permitted to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and other Southern States, would be applicable throughout India.

Having clarified bursting of green crackers was limited to Delhi and NCR only, the court permitted the cracker manufacturers to produce green crackers with reduced emission level, disallowing the barium salts as an ingredient in the crackers.

The court further said that its direction to “explore the feasibility of community firework” and that of extensive public awareness campaign is applicable throughout the country.

The court reiterated its October 23 direction on the production of crackers with reduced emission, restraining e-commerce websites for selling firecrackers and said it would be applicable throughout the country.

The court also reiterated its earlier direction making it incumbent on the police to ensure the compliance of its order and to ensure there was no sale of prohibited crackers in Delhi and NCR.

The court also reaffirmed its direction that the “Station House Officer (SHO) of the concerned Police Station of the area shall be held personally liable for such violation and this would amount to committing contempt of the Court, for which such SHO(s) would be proceeded against.”

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