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Delhi High Court seeks response from Delhi Police Commissioner on plea on crackers licence

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New Delhi Sept 17 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court, on Thursday, sought response from the Commissioner of Delhi Police upon a plea alleging that the notification inviting applications for the grant of Temporary Fireworks and Crackers License during ensuing Diwali festival is violative of and contrary to the provisions prescribed under “The Explosives Act, 1884 and The Explosive Rules, 2008”.

The Division Bench led by Chief Justice D.N Patel and Justice Amit Bansal, while refusing to grant any interim stay, issued notice in the plea by a lawyer seeking quashing of the notification inviting applications for the grant of temporary fireworks license as available on official website of Delhi Police.

The matter will be next heard on October 1, 2021. Filed by one Prachi Goel through Advocate Shekhar Sharma, the plea points out that the terms and conditions for grant of Temporary Fireworks and Crackers License during Diwali festival are prescribed under ‘The Explosives Act, 1884’ and ‘The Explosive Rules, 2008’. According to the said Rules, no Temporary Fireworks and Crackers License shall be granted unless and until there exists at least 50 meters distance from any ‘protected work’, including inter alia any  public road, shop, market, hospital, dwelling house.

It is contended that the notification issued by the Commissioner of Police on September 10, 2021, for grant of temporary fireworks and crackers license for a pucca shop, does not mention this mandatory condition; and rather, lays down different terms and conditions in contravention of 2008 Rules, wherein the District Magistrate (Commissioner of Police in case of Delhi) is empowered to grant temporary license qua ‘temporary sheds’ only and not qua pucca shops.

The plea highlighted that the Delhi High Court has time and again held in catena of decisions that the provisions of the said Act and Rules shall be strictly adhered to while considering for issuance of licenses for sale of fireworks and crackers in Delhi.  
In this light of the above, the plea prays for a direction to restrain the grant of temporary fireworks and crackers license qua any site whether a Temporary shed or a pucca shop  unless and until the proposed site is 50 meters away from any ‘protected work’ as laid down under the 2008 Rules.

The plea states thus: “ The discretionary and illegal practices adopted by the Respondent in the process of grant of Temporary Fireworks and Crackers License in Delhi is violative of the fundamental rights of life, liberty and safety as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

While alleging the grant of temporary fireworks license to shops which are in close proximity of busy markets or places with high density of population to be dangerous the plea reads as under:“Delhi is one of the worst cities in world in so far as the pollution and traffic congestion is concerned. It is imperative that immediate steps are taken to ensure pollution free environment and free circulation of traffic on the public roads and highways.”/ILNS/BG/KR/SNG

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