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No complete ban on firecrackers, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to direct blanket ban on sale of firecrackers in the country but directed that only “green” firecrackers will be sold and manufactured which are less polluting.

The court however, banned the selling of series firecrackers and allowed for their bursting only in designated places and fixed the timing for bursting of firecrackers as well.

The court has fixed 8 pm to 10 pm time period for bursting of firecrackers on Diwali and other festivals.

The apex court banned the online sale of firecrackers and restrained e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart from selling firecrackers.

The court was hearing the plea where petitioners had sought a country-wide ban this year for a clean and healthy environment, contending that the right to breathe clean air is essential for growth and development.

The Centre had opposed complete ban on sale of crackers during Diwali across the country. It has suggested that certain conditions could be imposed on the manufacture and sale of high-decibel firecrackers.

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.

On October 9, 2017, the apex 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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