Delhi HC rejects plea against absolute firecracker ban
Noting the pendency of issues related to firecrackers before SC, Delhi HC refused to entertain a petition challenging DPCC's complete ban on sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers
Noting the pendency of issues related to firecrackers before the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a petition challenging Delhi Pollution Control Committee's complete ban on sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers.
Justice Yashwant Varma dismissed the petition by two merchants who sought to "purchase, sell and store only green crackers" during the festive season, and said it was not appropriate for the high court to independently examine such a challenge when the issue "does appear to be engaging the attention" of the top court.
The court, however, said the petitioners were free to initiate appropriate proceedings under the law to seek redressal of their grievances.
"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 court noted.
"In view of the aforesaid, it would not be appropriate for this court to entertain an independent challenge, especially since the issue does appear to be engaging the attention of the Supreme Court. Accordingly, while this writ petition stands dismissed, this order shall not preclude the petitioner from initiating such proceedings as may be permitted in law," it said.
Green cracker merchants Shiva Fireworks and Jai Mata Stores had approached the high court last month, assailing the ban imposed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in the city during the upcoming months.
The petitioners had emphasised in their plea that the "last-minute ban" imposed by the DPCC on September 14 was arbitrary and illegal, and adversely affects their livelihood.
The plea stated that the air quality in New Delhi has been moderate or better at least since August 15 this year.
"In this view, there is no occasion to impose a ban on the use of even green crackers. Almost all Covid-19 related restrictions that were in force in December 2020 have now been relaxed. There is thus no reason that a restriction on the sale and use of firecrackers remain, especially at a time when the AQI levels in Delhi are at moderate or better levels," it said.
The petitioners also argued that the ban is against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and Supreme Court orders.
"It is clear from the order of the learned NGT dated December 1, 2020, and that of the Supreme Court dated July 23, 2021, that a complete ban on the use of crackers is impermissible. Restrictions can be made only in cases where the air quality is poor. The same is not the case in Delhi," the plea contended.
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