Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who ruled the city-state for almost 15 years, on Tuesday said that the firecracker ban on Diwali will disappoint people as it is a ‘sentimental religious celebration’. “It’s a sentimental religious celebration and people not being allowed to burst crackers will be very disappointed,” Dixit told news channel Times Now. Dikshit’s comments come a day after Supreme Court imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and its neighbourhood this Diwali. The apex court’s ban attracted a a number of reactions from across the country. Author Chetan Bhagat questioned the ban and said: “A full ban? What’s Diwali for children without crackers?”
Traders have also lodged their dissatisfaction over the ban. Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has urged the government to file a review petition before the Supreme Court. CAIT, issuing a statement, said conducting business of firecrackers is a legitimate activity protected under the Constitution of India providing ‘Right to Work’.
“The Supreme Court has imposed a ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR but there is no ban on bursting of crackers. Possibility of people buying crackers from other states and bursting them in Delhi-NCR cannot be ruled out. The distinction between Delhi traders and traders from the rest of India seems to be unjustified,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal told The Indian Express.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice AK Sikri, said that the November 11, 2016 order suspending the licences “should be given one chance to test itself” to see if there would be a positive effect of this, particularly during Diwali.
It said the November 11 last year order, suspending all licences which “permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR”, was passed by the court keeping in view the situation that had arisen after the last Diwali. “This order prevailed during the year but the impact and effect of this order remains to be tested on Diwali days,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Sapre and Ashok Bhushan, said.