HC gives time slot for bursting firecrackers in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court also ordered to conduct a draw for giving licences to sell firecrackers.

Division bench initiates suo moto proceedings after Supreme Court banned sale of firecrackers in NCR in view of deteriorating air quality.

Further, all the Deputy Commissioners (DCs), Police Commissioners or Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) or SPs in these places have also been directed to ensure the compliance of the HC order while it has also been directed that it should be open for the non-government organisations (NGOs) to monitor the said directions. The division bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Amit Rawal also directed the police officials to ensure adequate PCR vans are deployed to keep a check on flouting of order.

The development comes days after India's Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in the country's capital city and its outskirts until October 31.

Concerned over the pollution from fireworks, the high court had issued notices to the two states and the Union territory of Chandigarh asking them to furnish details of licences issued for sale of crackers.

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The high court bench had sought the response of the authorities while taking note of the issue of pollution caused by firecrackers and had appointed Gupta as amicus curiae (court's friend) to assist it in the matter.

Moreover, this time, the Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana are entitled to issue temporary licences up to 20 per cent of the total number of temporary licences issued in the previous. Treating it as a PIL, it declared inoperative all the temporary licences issued under the Explosives Act for Diwali this year.

Gupta also handed over to the court a directive issued by the Punjab Pollution Control Board chairman K.S. Pannu to all deputy commissioners and municipal corporations for observing a "Green Diwali". Fresh temporary licences can now be issued only by deputy commissioners.

To issue any permanent license, permission from the court has to be taken. The next hearing is slated for October 26.

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