Diwali this year will be a less boisterous but - hopefully - much cleaner affair in and around the national capital as the Supreme Court on Monday banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1, nearly two weeks after the festival of lights is over. The court also went on to say that firecrackers will be available in the NCR from November 1 onwards. However, there is no clarity on selling of firecrackers online.
Arjun Gopal, a toddler, had petitioned against the top court order, urging to modify its order by uplifting the ban on the sale of firecrackers.
There are different websites like cockbrand.in, ayyanonline, buyonlinecrackers.com, crackersindia.com, which offer online delivery of firecrackers.
"The court has made it clear that all licences stand banned forthwith", Haripriya Padmanabhan, one of the petitioners, said after the order.
On September 12, the apex court lifted "for the time being" its order of suspending the permanent licences for sale and retail of firecrackers within the National Capital Region (NCR).
Arguing against the September 2017 order, advocate Gopal Sankarnarayan said: "It is farcical for the top court to ban fireworks after Diwali, but to restore it before the next Diwali". Possibility of people buying crackers from other states and bursting them in Delhi-NCR can not be ruled out. The graded reduction in the sale of crackers will start from November 1 onwards, the SC also said.
A bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri, while restoring the order, said: "We should see at least in one Diwali the impact of a cracker-free festivity".
"With the burning of firecrackers, when small kids had to wear masks, it doesn't feel good ... so lets take this responsibility because its our country at the end of the day and we have to make it better". The petition had stated: "Our lungs have not yet fully developed and we can not take further pollution through the bursting of crackers".