The Delhi High Court dismissed a petition on Thursday contesting the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s (DPCC) September 14 order prohibiting the manufacture, storage, sale, and bursting of all types of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1, 2023.
Justice Yashwant Varma stated that it would be inappropriate for the High Court to hear the issue while it is pending before the Supreme Court. The petition in Supreme Court was filed by two organisations involved in the storage and sale of green crackers, who claimed that there was no reason for the DPCC to include green crackers while imposing a total prohibition.
The petition asked for the impugned direction to be deemed ultra vires as a violation of Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution, as well as a directive to restrain the Delhi Government and the DPCC. The appeal contended that the DPCC’s conduct damages not just petitioners’ livelihood but also that of other similarly situated merchants, describing the disputed instruction as arbitrary and a last-minute restriction on the sale and usage of green crackers.
The plea further contended that the order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on December 1, 2020, did not contemplate a blanket ban on crackers because it was issued in the context of the COVID-19 situation that was in effect at the time.
“Almost all Covid-19 related restrictions that were in force in December, 2020 have now been relaxed. There is thus no reason that a restriction on the sale and use of fire-crackers remain, especially at a time when the AQI levels in Delhi are at moderate or better levels,” the plea said.
CASE: Shiva Fire Works and Anr v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Ors