Supreme Court is expected to take a call today on whether the sale of firecrackers will be banned across the country.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan which had reserved its verdict on August 28 is to pronounce the judgement.
The apex court had earlier said there is a need to take into account all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, while considering a plea for the ban.
The petitioners had sought a clean and healthy environment, contending that the right to breathe clean air is essential for growth and development. “Delhi has been the most polluted city in the world and health related illnesses primarily target the youngest of its citizens,” the petition read.
The Centre has opposed complete ban on sale of crackers during Diwali across the country. It has suggested that certain conditions could be imposed on the manufacture and sale of high-decibel firecrackers.
Firecracker manufacturers have also contested the issue, pointing out that a ban will cost thousands their livelihood. Firecrackers alone, they said, could not be held as the sole reason for pollution during Diwali and an entire industry can’t be shut down for this.
In September last year, the court had temporarily suspended the ban and allowed the sale of crackers for a while, saying a complete ban would be an “extreme step”, and a “graded approach” was needed to tackle pollution. But in October, the ban was restored again.