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Punjab and Haryana HC restricts sale, use of crackers on Diwali

Shiv Rawal | Chandigarh |

After the Supreme Court (SC) banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and national capital region (NCR), the Punjab and Haryana High Court (HC) too on Friday put restrictions on the sale and use of firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali in Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh.

As per the HC order, the bursting of firecrackers within the territorial locations of UT, Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana shall be between 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Diwali day that is 19 October only.

The Division Bench of the HC comprising Justice AK Mittal and Justice Amit Rawal has made it clear that there should be no bursting of crackers even before and also after Diwali till October 26, next date of hearing.

It is also directed that PCR vans should be deployed in the UT Chandigarh as well as the two states to ensure the safety and keep an eye on the persons bursting the firecrackers beyond the time limit prescribed.

Further, all the Deputy Commissioners (DCs), Police Commissioners or Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) or SPs in these places have also been directed to ensure the compliance of the HC order while it has also been directed that it should be open for the non-government organisations (NGOs) to monitor the said directions.

Moreover, this time, the Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana are entitled to issue temporary licences up to 20 per cent of the total number of temporary licences issued in the previous.

However, as per the SC order, the sale and use of firecrackers is totally banned in the NCR areas so the HC order meant for the areas other than the NCR region, said Sandeep Moudgil, Additional Advocate General, Haryana.
The grant of issuance of temporary licences would be on the basis of videographed draw of lots to be held by the concerned DCs themselves and their power would not be delegated to anybody else under any circumstances.

Further, it is clarified that any temporary licence, which has already been issued herein before for the ensuing Diwali falling on 19 October should be inoperative.

The authorities may call the applications for temporary licences till October 16 up to 02:00 p.m. irrespective of the fact and the draw of lots would be held on the same date at 05:00 p.m. While, no further permanent licenses would be issued without the prior permission of the HC.

No temporary licensee would be entitled to sell firecrackers or market them at any other place except the earmarked or designated area by the DC concerned.

Expressing concern regarding pollution, use of explosive including the fireworks in Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and in other parts of Punjab and Haryana, the HC taking suo moto on Thursday issued notices to Punjab, Haryana and UT, Chandigarh through their respective Home Secretaries.