The Supreme Court has allowed the sale and use of green crackers – considered to be less polluting – for two hours in Telangana, where the state government had imposed a complete ban following an order from the state High Court.
The judgement was given by a two-judge bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sajiv Khanna in an urgent hearing conducted through video conferencing.
The Telangana Fireworks Dealers’ Association approached the top court when the state government issued an order to close shops selling fireworks after the High Court imposed a ban on sale and use of crackers by people and organisations on Thursday.
Allowing the 2-hour relaxation, the Supreme Court clarified that the Telangana state government would have to heed restrictions imposed by the National Green Tribunal.
The court also issued a notice to the original petitioner before the High Court on whose plea the ban was imposed.
“In the meanwhile, the impugned judgment stands modified and be in line with NGT’s order of November 9 which applies even to the State of Telangana. The state must comply with the directions in letter and spirit. We are conscious of the fact that the respondents are not served, but in view of the peculiar situation and urgency involved, the High Court orders stands modified,” the bench said.
Last week, the National Green Tribunal had banned the use and sale of firecrackers in Delhi, neighbouring areas and all cities with “poor” air quality. The green court had allowed sale and use of less polluting “green crackers”, only for two hours, in areas where air pollution was “moderate” or below.
The ban is applicable between November 9 and November 30, and on festivals like Diwali, Chatt, Guru Purab, Christmas and the New Year’s Eve.