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Supreme Court refuses to lift ban on firecrackers in Delhi-NCR, says 'it's an experiment for 1 year'

Environmentalists have been seeking the court's?intervention in passing orders for ban on sale of firecrackers due to an alarming?increase in the pollution levels?in the national capital. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 13, 2017, 07.35 AM (IST) Jessica Taneja

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to modify its earlier order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR.

The court dismissed the plea of firecracker traders who had sought relaxation in the October 9 ban order and sought permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19.

The court said it hasn’t stopped people from celebrating the festival of lights. "It’s just an experiment for one year, we will take stock after that," Justice A K Sikri, who heard the case today, said.

The judge said its November 11, 2016 order suspending the licences "should be given one chance to test itself" to see if there is a positive effect of this, particularly during Diwali.

Justice Sikri also expressed anguish at people giving his order a communal angle. "I am a very spiritual person but this is something different," Justice Sikri said.

The court had recently banned the sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1, dealing a body blow to the traders and businessmen dealing in them.

The court also said that the order passed by it last month, temporarily lifting the stay and allowing the sale of firecrackers, would be made effective only from November 1, 12 days after Diwali.

The Supreme Court passed the order on a petition asking for a ban on the the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region over alarming rise in pollution levels after Diwali.

After the order, the administration in Delhi and its nearby areas, which constitute the National Capital Region, has issued directives to the shopkeepers to stop selling firecrackers which make a lot of noise. The business community has raised concerns saying the order will adversely affect the sales in the festival season.

However, the administration has allowed those people who have already purchased firecrackers to burst them on October 19 (Diwali) during a stipulated time. The Gurugram authority has said that the bursting of firecrackers will be allowed between 6pm to 10pm.

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