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All-India Ban on Firecrackers Before Diwali? Supreme Court Verdict Today

Opposing a blanket ban, manufacturers say firecrackers are not responsible for the spike in air pollution.

PTI

Updated:October 23, 2018, 11:41 AM IST
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce verdict on Tuesday on a plea seeking a ban on manufacture and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan which had reserved its verdict on August 28 is to pronounce the judgment.

The apex court had earlier said there is a need to take into account all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, while considering a plea for the ban.

The top court had said the Article 21 (right to life) of Constitution applies to both segments of people and it needs to maintain a balance while considering a countrywide ban on firecrackers.

It had asked Centre to suggest measures to be taken for curbing the pollution and what will be the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.

The apex court had on August 8 said a spike in PM 2.5 levels in the air is a severe problem as the particulate matter remains in people's lungs, leading to serious health implications.

Firecrackers manufacturers earlier told the court that use of firecrackers should not be completely banned and it should instead be strictly regulated.

They have contended that the crackers are not the reason for increase in air pollution and there are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it.

They have said the firecracker manufacturers can be deprived of their right to do business based on statements which were not supported by facts.

On October 9 last year, the top court temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali.

Later, the court refused to relax its order while dismissing a plea by traders who had sought permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19, 2017.

The apex court said its ban order during Diwali that year was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution levels in the region.

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