New Delhi, October 20: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear an urgent plea filed by BJP MP Manoj Tiwari challenging the Delhi government's decision to ban the sale and purchase and usage of firecrackers during the festive seasons in the national capital.
While denying the request for an urgent hearing, a bench led by Justice MR Shah said, "let people breathe clean air." The bench further stated that there are other ways to celebrate festivals. "Spend your money on sweets," the top court asserted after advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha appearing for Tiwari mentioned the matter for urgent listing.
Previously, the Supreme Court refused to lift the ban on firecrackers in Delhi, stating that the court had already given a detailed order on the use of firecrackers and would not vacate the prior order.
It had tagged Tiwari's plea with the other pending cases.
Tiwari had challenged the Delhi government's ban on the production, storage, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers in order to reduce pollution levels in the national capital.
The BJP leader requested that the Aam Aadmi Party government adopt new guidelines for the sale, purchase, and bursting of permissible firecrackers during the next festive season.
The BJP MP also requested that all states refrain from taking coercive action, including filing FIRs against common people who are caught selling or using permissible firecrackers.
"In the name of the Right to life, freedom of religion cannot be taken away and that a balance has to be struck like that has been done through the decision of this Court dated October 29, 2021," submitted the plea.
The Supreme Court clarified in 2021 that there is no blanket ban on the use of firecrackers and that only fireworks containing barium salts are prohibited.
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The top court had restricted the use of firecrackers found to be harmful to health while emphasising that there was no blanket ban on crackers and that people might use permissible firecrackers to celebrate their festival, according to the plea.
According to the plea, various state governments and high courts issued orders in 2021 that violated the Supreme Court's decision and enforced a blanket ban on firecrackers.
Despite clear orders from the Supreme Court, many states and union territories did not take the necessary steps to ensure proper Deepawali preparation, instead filed FIRs and e imposed a curfew, according to the petition.
Between September 28, 2021, and November 4, 2021, the Delhi government filed 210 FIRs against common citizens and police arrested 143 people for bursting crackers, while it filed 125 FIRs and arrested 138 people for selling crackers, according to the plea.
On September 7, the AAP government in Delhi imposed a total ban on firecrackers in the capital, effective immediately and lasting until January 1, 2023.
-PTC News with ANI inputs