"Filing cases against people who burn crackers may not help", Supreme Court tells Delhi Police

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On Monday, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that the manufacture, sale, storage, and use of all types of firecrackers will remain banned in Delhi

The Supreme Court told the Delhi Police today that filing cases against people who burn firecrackers may not help in curbing sale of firecrackers.

A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh was hearing a case pertaining to the issue of firecrackers' ban.

When the matter was taken up, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan appearing for the petitioners, told court that it was the poor people who were suffering from the issues of pollution.

"..people living on streets suffer while the rich burn crackers worth lakhs of rupees and go back to their homes with air purifiers...", he added.

Sharing from personal experience, the senior counsel added that he tried ordering firecrackers online and it were available in bulk.

Yesterday the bench had questioned the Delhi Police on its strategy to implement the firecracker ban imposed by the Delhi government.

In its response, ASG Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for Delhi Police, submitted a status report before Court today.

"Filing cases against people who burn crackers may not help, you have to nip it in the bud...", the bench said after perusing the report.

To this, ASG Bhati responded saying, "Centre is dealing with air pollution, but if pollution is still high despite the ban, is it only firecrackers contributing to it..The licensing unit has not granted any licenses since 2016.."

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to interfere with the ban imposed by the Delhi government on the storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers.

While doing so, the bench told petitioner BJP MP Manoj Tiwari to go to a state where it is allowed to burn crackers if he wished to do so. 

You should be asking people not to burn crackers, court further told the Counsel appearing for Tiwari.

“Locally, if it is banned, then it is banned, that’s all…,” the bench said, rejecting Tiwari's plea.

Last year, while hearing the plea moved by Tiwari seeking directions for usage of permissible firecrackers and against the blanket ban during festive seasons of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and others in Delhi and other states, Supreme Court had questioned Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, "Are you a permanent resident of NCR? Have you seen the condition after Diwali?"

In his plea, the BJP leader had sought that fresh guidelines should be issued to all states in respect of selling, purchasing or bursting of permissible firecrackers.

Earlier, the apex Court had reiterated the directions issued by the Supreme Court, including banning the use of Barium Salts in the firecrackers and manufacturing and selling joined firecrackers and other directions issued by this Court reproduced hereinabove.

In addition to this, the bench had said, "We are not against any community we want full implementation of orders. We are not against the festivals but we cannot play with the right to life of others."

Case Title: Arjun Gopal and Ors. vs. Union of India and Ors.