Firecrackers In Diwali: Delhi HC Rejects Plea Against Ban; All You Need To Know

Delhi Government following the convention of last two years has imposed complete ban on all sorts of firecrackers. This time the Police are highly active. So, be cautious before you thinking of lighting one.

Preparations for Diwali Festival

Amidst the ongoing conundrums over the ban of firecrackers prior to Diwali, Delhi High Court today denied hearing a plea against the ban saying that there are cases pending before the Supreme Court pertaining to the same.

Justice Yashwant Varma who was hearing the plea of two merchants seeking the right to “purchase, sell and store only green crackers” said that it is not appropriate for the court to entertain such petitions when the top court of the country is engaged into it.

“From the material placed on record, the court notes the issue of pollution as a result of use of firecracker during Diwali was first considered by the Supreme Court (in a case). The petitioner remains pending on the board of the Supreme Court. Subsequently, another writ petition came to be preferred before the Supreme Court seeking the issuance of guidelines in respect of sale, purchase and bursting of permissible firecrackers. The writ petition also produces some of the banning orders issued by few states,” the HC observed.

However Justice Verma said that the petitioners were free to initiate appropriate proceedings under the law to seek redressal of their grievances.

Green cracker merchants Shiva Fireworks and Jai Mata Stores noted in their petition that ‘last-minute ban’ imposed by the DPCC on September 14 is illegal and arbitrary.

In the backdrop of the rejection of the plea, we can look at what the ban is, how strictly it is imposed and the political fights over it. Here is all you need to know.

What is the Ban on Firecracker?

On October 19, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that the firecrackers in Diwali will result in six months’ jail and may attract Rs. 200 fine as well. Production, storage and sale of firecrackers in the capital will be punishable with a fine of up to Rs 5,000 and three years jail under Section 9B of the Explosives Act, the minister noted.

This is an ongoing practice for the Delhi Government for last two years. Following its earlier notifications, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on September 14 imposed ban on production, sale, purchase and use of all sort of firecrackers till January 1.  

Meanwhile, if you are storing or planning to sale the firecrackers, surveillance teams are ready to nab you.

As per the minister this time there will be 408 surveillance teams who will implement the ban in the city-state among which 210 teams are of Delhi Police, 165 from the Revenue Department and 33 from DPCC.

Besides the pollution caused by low temperature and wind speed during this season, firecrackers becomes an added pollutant. “Pollution levels rise around Diwali every year. The major reason is the bursting of firecrackers. Emissions from firecrackers are extremely dangerous especially for kids, women and the elderly,” the minister added.

To properly implement the ban, Rai has also asked the union environmental minister Bhupinder Yadav to ensure that it is followed across NCR as firecrackers in neighbouring areas also affect the quality of air in Delhi.

An Active Police: Say No to Firecrackers

In the eve of Diwali, the Police have arrested 3 people from different places and seized 1400 kg of firecrackers. Following tips, the police of south, northwest and southeast districts, the police made night raids and arrested the offenders.

One of the accused Mohit Gupta (22) was found by Police on his way to deliver the firecrackers to a client in Tri Nagar. The Police informed PTI that he had stored the firecrackers from last year and he had 570 kg of the whole seized quantity.

Another offender Dinesh Chand (63) was found to have 250 kgs of firecracker in his possession. When Police followed the other locations they found huge amount of firecracker storages.

According to Rai till October 16, 188 cases of violations were detected and 2,917 kg firecrackers were seized.

The active response of Police further indicates the impossibility of storing and saling friecrackers this time.

‘Anti-Hindu’ Kejriwal? The Political Battles

As the firecrackers have always been a matter of contention among political parties, this time also it bubbled over the surface.

Attacking Kejriwal and AAP for its hypocrisy, BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said whenever there is any new minister anointed in Kejriwal cabinet, his supporters are allowed to celebrate with firecrackers and whenever it comes to Hindu festival it becomes an offence.

Sharing a video in his twitter where the supporters of AAP were found celebrating the appointment of Raj Kumar Anand as the minister, Bagga wrote, “If Hindus burn crackers on Diwali, there will be pollution. Arvind Kejriwal will send them to jail, but if the firecrackers are burnt in celebration of becoming a minister of Kejriwal, oxygen will come out of it.”

Pointing out that Kejriwal doesn’t have any issue with firecracker, rather he has problems with Diwali Bagga added, “Kejriwal, your anti-Hindu face stands exposed again. You have a problem with Diwali, not with the firecracker.”

Whatever the Political battles may be, the firecracker ban, as imposed this time may lead one to jail if not followed by letters.