Citing pollution and saying that there are other ways to celebrate Diwali, the Supreme Court has refused to lift the ban on firecrackers in Delhi ahead of the October 24 festival.
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari had gone to the court on October 10 against the AAP government’s ban but the court refused to pass any new orders, saying that the court had also given a clear order already.
Mr Tiwari’s lawyer, Shashank Shekar Jha, today mentioned the plea for urgent hearing during the lunch break but the court again declined the request, saying, “Spend your money on sweets… Let people breathe clean air.” Technically, the court clubbed the BJP MP’s petition with some others already pending.
The Delhi High Court, too, on Thursday refused to hear a plea challenging the ban till January 1, noting that similar petitions are pending before the Supreme Court.
“How can we allow firecrackers even if they are green crackers? Have you seen the pollution of Delhi?” the Supreme Court told the petitioner, Manoj Tiwari on October 10, according to news reports.
Sections of Hindu society — some right-wing outfits, in particular — see the ban as discriminatory against a traditional practice.
Delhi BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga has attacked Delhi’s AAP government, which too has banned crackers. “If Hindus burn crackers on Diwali, there will be pollution, Arvind Kejriwal will send them to jail, but if the firecrackers are burnt in the joy of becoming a minister [in Delhi], oxygen will come out of it!,” he said in a tweet, sharing a video of some supporters of Raaj Kumar Anand celebrating his becoming a minister.
PM Narendra Modi has been a supporter of non-polluting crackers and is scheduled to attend a “digital firecracker display” event in UP’s Ayodhya ahead of Diwali next week.
Manoj Tiwari’s plea challenges the Delhi government order of a blanket ban on sale, purchase and use of firecrackers during festive seasons of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and others.