Refusing to impose a blanket ban on the sale and use of firecrackers, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said only green firecrackers, which are less polluting, will be allowed to be sold in the country.
The Court, however, banned the sale of firecrackers on e-commerce websites.
The court order is not limited only to Diwali; durations have been fixed for the bursting of crackers on all events and festivals. On Diwali, crackers are allowed between 8 pm and 10 pm. On Christmas Eve and New Year, it will be allowed only between 11.45 pm and 12.45 am.
The Bench of Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan had, after hearing the petitioners, firecrackers manufacturers, the Centre and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on August 28, reserved its order on the plea for a countrywide ban on firecrackers to curb the deteriorating air pollution.
The Bench had earlier said that there was a need to strike a balance between the right to health and the right to carry on a trade or profession. The firecracker manufacturers had told the court that crackers were not the sole cause of rising pollution during Diwali. It was one of the contributing factors and that an entire industry could not be shut down on this count.
One of the pleas filed by a child, Arjun Gopal, represented by lawyer Gopal Shankarnarayan, had sought a ban on the possession of firecrackers in the National Capital Region as that was contributing to an already alarming level of air pollution in the area.
In 2017, the apex court had prohibited the sale of firecrackers in NCR-Delhi during Diwali.