Ahead of Diwali, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the firecracker ban order needs to be strictly followed.

A bench headed by Justice M.R. Shah stressed that it is not against any particular festival, but it is also essential to protect the right to life.

“We do not want to come in the way of enjoyment, but for enjoyment, one cannot play with the fundamental right of others,” the bench also comprising Justice A. S. Bopanna said.

The top court order came at a time when Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma opposed the State Pollution Control Board’s blank ban order on the use of firecrackers in Assam.

The Pollution Control Board of Assam had passed an order on October 22 in which it has imposed a blanket ban on firecrackers on Diwali.

Taking note of the order of the Assam Pollution Control Board, chief minister Sarma said that the entire issue is being reviewed afresh, holistically, keeping people’s sentiments in mind.

“Assam Pollution Control Board has, reportedly, suo motu, without any consultation with Govt, issued an order banning the sale of firecrackers & other restrictions. We’ve taken note of this. The entire issue is being reviewed afresh, holistically, keeping people’s sentiments in mind,” Sarma said in a tweet on October 25.

The top court said that the authorities entrusted with the task to implement orders must show more responsibility.

It clarified that it has not put a 100 per cent ban on firecrackers and all crackers were not banned, but celebration with firecrackers made from banned material should not be permitted.

The bench observed, “Can we say that enjoyment can be done at the cost of other’s lives? Today also we can see that crackers are being sold in the market”.

It added that last time it had emphasized that there should be some accountability on behalf of those who had to implement the order.

The bench said: “We want full implementation of our orders. We are not against a particular community”.

It further added that the court wants to send a strong message that it is there for the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens.

The bench said it is not against any particular festival and also not against celebration, but it cannot permit anybody to play with the right to life of others in the guise of celebration.

“We have to enforce the previous orders”, added the bench.

A counsel in the matter mentioned the ban of crackers in Delhi.

The bench replied, “We know what people of Delhi are suffering…We want the implementation of the court’s orders”.

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