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SC lifts ban on sale of fire crackers, in Capital, favours graded approach

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily lifted its earlier order suspending the permanent licences for sale of fire crackers in the national capital region, saying a complete ban would be an "extreme step" and a graded approach was needed to curb pollution caused by them.
The apex court, however, said its order lifting the ban on sale of fire crackers might require a "review" after Diwali depending on the ambient air quality after the festival.
It also set up a committee to study the impact of the firecrackers on the health of Delhi'ites during the upcoming festivals and directed the police to slash by half the number of temporary licences this year compared to last year and cap it at 500.
Though its primary concern was the human right to breathe good quality air, the court said after considering the material on record, it cannot be said with certainty that the extremely poor air quality in Delhi in November-December last year was caused only by the bursting of crackers during the festivals.
"Consequently, a complete ban on the sale of fireworks would be an extreme step that might not be fully warranted by the facts available to us. There is, therefore, some justification for modifying the interim order passed on 11th November 2016 and lifting the suspension of the permanent licences. ....
"The suspension of permanent licences as directed by the order dated November 11, 2016, is lifted for the time being.
This might require a review after Diwali depending on the ambient air quality post-Diwali," a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.
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