The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it is up to states to decide whether the two-hour window to burst crackers on Diwali should be in morning or evening. This order was passed considering the fact that Diwali in South India was celebrated in morning.
The Tamil Nadu government had pleaded that apart from the already permitted 8 pm to 10 pm window, residents in the state be allowed to burst crackers between 4.30 am and 6.30 am. The court modified its earlier order and allowed the Tamil Nadu government to set its own time period but said that the period cannot be more than two hours in a day.
The Supreme Court made it clear that the exemption will not apply to other states by saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In North India, celebrate Diwali like it is usually celebrated here—during the night.”
The top court on October 23 had said that bursting of firecrackers will be allowed, but with conditions. On Diwali, crackers will be allowed for two hours, from 8 pm to 10 pm while on Christmas and New Year celebrations bursting between 11:45pm to 12:30 am, the court said. “Only crackers with reduced emission will be allowed and they can be sold through licenced holders,” the judges said.
The apex court, in its order, banned the online sale of firecrackers and put a stay on the e-commerce portals from selling firecrackers.
The top court also asked the Centre to tell on Wednesday whether manufacturing crackers without using barium salt is possible. Meanwhile, the court indicated that the ban on using all existing stock of crackers that do not comply with green norms is applicable to Delhi-NCR and these crackers could be sold in the rest of India.