HC gives time slot for bursting firecrackers in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh

HC gives time slot for bursting firecrackers in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh”

Concerned over the pollution from fireworks, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to the two states and the Union territory of Chandigarh asking them to furnish by tomorrow details of licences issued for sale of crackers.

While ruling out imposing any ban at the eleventh hour, considering a few days are left for the festival, the court restricted bursting of firecrackers from 6:30 pm to 9: 30 pm on Diwali. To date, about 361 applications have been received seeking temporary licence for sale of firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali, the court noted.

Senior Advocate Anupam Gupta, who assisted the court as Amicus Curiae, told DNA, "The court has imposed a cap on the issue of licenses under the Explosive Acts".

A division bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Amit Rawal directed the authorities to deploy PCR vans not only in Chandigarh but also in Punjab and Haryana to ensure public safety and "keep an eye on persons bursting the firecrackers beyond the time limit" ordered by the court.

"The court has asked the local administrations to ensure strict compliance of the order".

The high court also directed the authorities to issue only 20% of last year's licences for setting up cracker shops this year. The state governments and the UT administration can now only issue 20 per cent of the temporary licences issued previous year and the ones already issued for Diwali have been declared "inoperative" by the court. Gupta also said as per the court's orders, sale and marketing of firecrackers will take place only at places designated by the DCs and not elsewhere. The licences were to be distributed on Friday but now, the entire process has been called off and a draw of lots would be conducted for the selection. "If any temporary license has already been issued for this Diwali, it shall be inoperative", Gupta said.

The next hearing in the case will be held on October 24.

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