In its series of directions to check pollution levels in and around the Capital which rose to dangerous levels after Diwali, the Supreme Court on Friday banned the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur also said that no fresh licenses will be given to sell firecrackers and there shall be no renewal until further orders.
It clarified that the order will be applicable to all wholesalers and retailers in the region.
“Keeping the grave air quality in mind, we can intervene to suspend the license,” it said, asking the Central Pollution Control Board to study the harmful effects of the materials used in the manufacture of crackers and give a report in three months.
“We want to know whether they are carcinogenic,” it said.
Equating fire crackers with “burning of money,” the apex court had earlier said that one should think that when humans are affected so much with these fire crackers, what effect would it have it on animals like dogs which have more sensitive ears than humans. It had also observed that as per reports, 30% children in Delhi were asthmatic and steps were required to be taken on all the fronts.
This year, Diwali fire crackers pushed pollution level in Delhi to a dangerous level, worst in three years.
The order on suspending the license came on petitions filed by three toddlers which stated that “our lungs have not yet fully developed and we cannot take further pollution through bursting of crackers.”
Other petitioners including Delhi-resident Anirudh Suri had also sought ban on firecrackers saying it contributed immensely to the worsening air pollution levels.
The petitioners had sought stringent implementation of existing guidelines of the court and also any possible new measures to curb pollution.
Rejects plea for SIT probe on I-T raids
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking a probe by a SIT into the alleged recovery of “incriminating” documents by the income tax department during raids on two business houses in 2013-14 that showed payoffs to politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The plea alleged that the Sahara group and the Aditya Birla group paid Rs 65 crore to Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister. Even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has accused Modi of receiving bribes when he was the Gujarat CM and had sought a judicial probe into the issue.