SC refuses to stay Calcutta HC order banning firecrackers on Diwali, Kali Puja and Chhath

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SC refuses to stay Calcutta HC order banning firecrackers on Diwali

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday (November 11, 2020) refused to intervene with Calcutta High Court’s order prohibiting firecrackers during Diwali, Kali Puja and Chhath festivals in West Bengal.

The top court said, “We understand the importance of celebration, but it is more important to save lives, in such a situation, the High Court would understand the local conditions better.”

The plea had been filed by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) challenging the tribunal order.

The Calcutta High Court on had Tuesday set guidelines for Chhath Puja congregation in West Bengal and directed the state government to strictly enforce its ban on fire crackers during the upcoming festivals.

Taking a note of the health hazards to those affected by COVID-19 as well others and the risk posed due to bursting of firecrackers, a division bench comprising justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee directed the state to ensure that the prohibitory orders are followed everywhere.

Last week the court had ordered a complete ban on fireworks during Kali Puja, Diwali and Chhath.

Further, setting guidelines for the Chhath Puja, the division bench imposed curbs on the number of people who can gather for rituals on the banks of rivers and other water bodies. Two persons from each family can perform the rituals near the water bodies, while processions and playing of loud music would not be allowed, the court said.

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken the decision to imposed ban on cracker sale till November 30, as the pollution level in the national capital continues to surge.

The ban will be imposed starting tonight (November 9, 2020). The decision comes amid festive season when the sale of crackers is at its peak. 

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