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Firecracker ban case: Govt claims Diwali 'night' noiseless already, Hindu groups stand for custom, tradition & livelihood

The Diwali firecracker ban petition filed by three Delhi toddlers in the Supreme Court, is being opposed by various religious groups, reported The Hindu.

The case is being heard at an urgent basis at the Supreme Court. In the previous hearing, the court had asked to issue notices to the concerned parties including the government and manufactures of firecrackers.

According to The Hindu, the Supreme Court has received mixed responses from the parties. A Hindu organisation, M/s Arulmigu Sri Ayyappan Sangam, was quoted as telling the court that “banning or restriction on bursting firecrackers on Deepavali day would affect the traditional and customary rights of the Hindus...”. A separate application by Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association to the court stated that the PIL is misconceived and abuse of process of the law. It also stated that many livelihoods depend on the industry.

The government affidavit in the case asserts that a blanket ban is not needed against firecrackers becauses checks and balances are in place already to control pollution, reported The Indian Express.

The affidavit states “Through the last amendment dated 11 January, 2010, the issues have been addressed in line with the Supreme Court orders from time to time. Stress has been laid on making the night peaceful. The ‘night time’ has been defined (10 pm to 6 am) and restrictions have been imposed on the use of horns, sound emitting construction equipment and bursting of firecrackers during the night time,” stated the affidavit, citing the Noise Rules 2000, it reported.

According to the government, the noise standards for firecrackers have been notified under the Environment Protection Rules 1986, “so as to prohibit manufacture, sale or use of firecrackers generating noise level” exceeding the stipulated norms, it said. The affidavit also mentions appointment of ‘designated authority’ who would have the power to issue directives in relation to noise pollution as well as usage and storage of firecrackers.

The matter is listed for hearing at the Supreme Court on 28 October.

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