SC Declines Urgent Listing for Plea Against DPCC’s Blanket Ban on Firecrackers in Delhi-NCR

Calcutta HC bans use of firecracker

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: October 13, 2022 at 22:07 IST

On Thursday, the Supreme Court declined to give an urgent listing for a case involving the lighting of green crackers on Diwali. The Delhi High Court will handle the case, the bench declared.

The petitioner in question had previously filed a complaint with the Delhi High Court contesting the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s (DPCC) directive from September 14 banning the production, storage, sale, and use of all firecrackers in the nation’s capital till January 1, 2023.

Two businesses involved in the storage and sale of green crackers made the argument that there was no justification for the inclusion of green crackers in the prohibition.

The petitioner’s attorney mentioned the case before Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and said that the Delhi High Court decided that the matter will be handled by the Delhi High Court on October 18, 2022, since a similar appeal before the Supreme Court was still outstanding.

The attorney requested that the Supreme Court get involved and list the case early because Diwali was on October 24.

The Chief Justice of India, however, said, “Let the High Court decide; we won’t get into this.”

It may be recalled that on October 10, a bench presided over by Justice MR Shah had heard a petition submitted by BJP MP Manoj Tiwari contesting the ban on fireworks in Delhi.

A related petition has been attached to that one.

According to the plea, the DPCC’s contested directive had to be ruled extra vires since it violated Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.

Additionally, the petitioners requested a directive to stop the Delhi Government and DPCC from taking any action against them.

The plea claims that the DPCC’s conduct affects not only the livelihood of the petitioners but also other similarly situated merchants, characterizing the impugned direction as arbitrary and a last-minute prohibition imposed on the sale and use of green crackers.

The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) order from December 1, 2020, according to the plea, was passed in the context of the COVID-19 situation that was in effect at the time and did not include a blanket ban on fireworks.

“Nearly all restrictions relating to COVID-19 that were in place as of December, 2020, have since been loosened. Thus, there is no justification for the continued ban on the sale and use of firecrackers, especially at a time when Delhi’s AQI levels are at or above average levels”, the argument said.

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