SC says time for bursting crackers in TN, Puducherry will change, can’t exceed two hours

NEW DELHI, Oct 30:
The Supreme Court today modified its order fixing a slot of 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting firecrackers on Diwali and said the time will be changed in places like Tamil Nadu and Puducherry but not exceed two hours a day.
A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan also observed that the direction for permitting the use of green crackers was meant for the Delhi-NCR region and was not PAN India.
The apex court was hearing several applications filed by the Tamil Nadu Government and firecracker manufacturers seeking modification and clarification of its October 23 order.
On Monday, the Tamil Nadu Government urged the apex court to allow firecrackers to be burst on Diwali morning in accordance with religious practices in the state, besides the already permitted 8 pm to 10 pm period.
The counsel appearing for firecracker manufacturers told the court that it was not possible to come up with green crackers this Diwali since there was no set composition for manufacturing them.
The Tamil Nadu Government’s plea, filed through advocate B Vinod Khanna, said the state should be given permission to burst firecrackers between 4.30 am to 6.30 am as well.
According to the petition, each state or sect has a separate set of beliefs and traditions as far as Diwali celebrations are concerned and the apex court’s restriction would amount to “rejecting the people with their due religious rights and would subject the people of the State into much hardship”.
“Diwali is a practice religiously and scrupulously followed by Hindus from time immemorial and it had become a core and essential religious practice which is also protected under Article 25 of the Constitution as their fundamental right,” it said.
Diwali is celebrated in the state early in the morning to commemorate the death of Narakashura, it pointed out.
The plea also contended that the modification sought by it was in the interest of environment.
“It would be in the interest of environment not to subject the entire population to burst firecrackers within a stipulated short time as it would lead to larger volume of emissions within a short span. Permitting people to burst firecrackers at two different times with due intervals would facilitate dissemination of the smoke,” it said. Making fire fighting and rescue facilities available in case of any mishap would also be convenient if crackers are burst at different points of time, it added. (PTI)