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After the Telangana High Court passed an order on November 12 banning sale and use of fireworks hours ahead of Diwali, the Telangana Fire Workers Dealers Association (TFWDA) has approached the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the High Court order. The TFWDA in their petition filed through Advocate Somanadri Goud K stated that the members of the association have been seriously affected by the ban on fireworks and that it violated their fundamental right to livelihood.
The plea states that the order was passed by the High Court without making the association a party to the case and without considering the impact it would have on the members engaged in manufacturing such products. The petition stated, “It is important to acknowledge nexus between law and economics in current times wherein a balanced approach needs to be adopted for balancing of the two rights available to the citizens under Article 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution of India.”
The association contented that the High Court order had caused immense financial difficulties to fireworks vendors especially because firecrackers were a seasonal business and heavy investments were made for it. They argued that the High Court failed to consider the economic adversities that would be caused to lakhs of people and their families who were directly or indirectly employed by the fireworks industry in Telangana.
The petition referred to the order of the Supreme Court (passed in Arjun Gopal and Ors. v Union of India and Ors) in which it had allowed the manufacturing and sale of green and improved firecrackers in adherence to the prescribed standards of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO). The Supreme Court had observed that a complete ban on firecrackers would not serve the interest of justice. It was contended by the petitioners that the High Court order was passed without considering the pendency of proceedings in Arjun Gopal case wherein directions were given from time to time keeping in view the Air Quality Index and other relevant factors. The TFWDA has pleaded before the court to pass an ex-parte-ad-interim stay on the operation and and effect of the impugned order.
The High Court passed the order banning fireworks despite being informed that the state was following the guidelines of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Sivakasi fireworks vendors badly affected
People engaged in the production and sale of fireworks in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu have been severely affected by the ban that has been imposed in several states.
Sivakasi: People engaged in production & sale of firecrackers say their business is badly affected due to ban on firecrackers in many States.
— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2020
General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Fireworks Merchants Association Federation said that orders were already less due to Wuhan virus pandemic and the ban made the situation worse.
States that have banned fireworks on Diwali
According to reports, as many as 9 other states and UTs have imposed a ban on fireworks on Diwali including Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka, Haryana, Rajasthan, Sikkim and Chandigarh. The National Green Tribunal had sent notices to 18 states and union territories to expand the scope of hearing cases on pollution by firecrackers during Diwali.