Supreme Court Refuses To Interfere With Calcutta HC Order Bannning Sale & Use Of Firecrackers In West Bengal

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the Calcutta High Court order banning the sale and use of firecrackers in West Bengal during Kali Puja, saying preservation of life was more important amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee said though festivals were important “life itself has been imperilled now” amid the pandemic. It said the High Court knew the local condition better and it should be allowed to do the needful.

Last week, Gautam Roy and the Burrabazaar Fireworks Dealers Association had filed an appeal challenging the High Court order banning the use and sale of firecrackers during upcoming festivals, including Kali Puja and Chhath Puja, to curb pollution. Kali Puja will be celebrated on Saturday.

“We are all battling for life in this situation and all of us have elderly people in our home,” it observed. “We are in a situation where, at this time, preservation of life is more important and the high court knows what is required at the ground level.”

It added that the High Court had taken care of the interest of citizens, especially senior citizens who may have comorbidities.

The High Court had directed that the ban would also be in force during the Jagaddhatri Puja, Chhath and Kartik Puja. In addition, the guidelines that were in place during Durga Puja, such as no entry to pandals would also be in effect.

Fifteen people will be allowed in the Kali Puja pandals having an area up to 300 sq metres, and 45 in the bigger ones, the court had said. Processions are not allowed during immersion.

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