While hearing a plea requesting complete ban on the bursting of firecrackers, the Supreme Court, on 23rd October, 2018, revisited and refined its previous orders on this matter. Although the apex court ruled against imposing a blanket ban, it did order certain restrictions to be imposed on the sale and use of firecrackers, not just for Diwali but for other religious and general celebrations as well. Here’s what the Court had to say –

  • Only green crackers and improved crackers with reduced omissions will be allowed to be manufactured and sold.
  • No sale of crackers is to take place via e-commerce sites. In case of any such sale taking place, the e-commerce site will be held liable for contempt by the Court. Monetary penalty can also be imposed on them.
  • Crackers can only be sold through licensed traders.
  • On Diwali and all other religious festivals, bursting of crackers is allowed only between the time of 8 pm – 10 pm.
  • On Christmas and New Year’s, this time window shall be between 11:55 pm -12:30 am to allow for midnight celebrations during these days.
  • This prescribed time limit is to be applicable throughout India.
  • Within Delhi, crackers can only be burnt in designated areas which shall be notified by the Court next week.
  • Only those crackers with decibel sounds within previously permitted limit shall be allowed to be manufactured and sold.
  • Barium salts in the making of firecrackers has been banned. Moreover, the PESO shall review the chemical composition of these firecrackers and submit its report to the Court.
  • PESO will ensure fireworks with permitted chemicals only to be purchased/possessed/sold/used during Diwali and all other religious festivals, of any religion whatsoever, and other occasions like marriages, etc. It shall test and check for the presence of banned chemicals like Lithium/Arsenic/ Antimony/Lead/Mercury.

Troubled by the deteriorating air quality index of the country, particularly the NCR, the Supreme Court has sought to check any further and possibly irreparable harm to the air we breathe in through its judgment in the absence of a legislation to this effect. It has also called for various public awareness campaigns to be held in schools and by the Government to apprise citizens about the ill-effects of burning firecrackers.

This article has been authored by Varnika Jain from Team LawSkills. To continue your legal education and/or to give your career a professional leg-up, check out our self-paced e-learning courses on soft and professional skills as well as the law on lawskills.in.

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