HYDERABAD: In view of COVID-19 pandemic, the Telangana High Court on Thursday ordered the state government to immediately ban the selling and use of fireworks during the upcoming Diwali festival, observing that people's lives are most important.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice BVijaysenReddy also ordered the state government to immediately close the shops which are selling fireworks throughout the state. A PIL filed by advocate P Indra Prakash seeking a direction for the ban of selling firecrackers and using fireworks by the public during Diwali festival across Telangana.
The HC issued an order and it is stated that, "Considering the fact that the lives of the people need to be protected, considering the fact that uncontrolled and untrammeled use of fireworks may jeopardise the lives of many, this court directs the state to immediately ban the sale and use of fireworks by the people and by organisations."
The court observed that the festivals may be important and may serve social purpose, nonetheless, the lives of the people are most important. It is the bounden duty of the state to ensure the lives of the people are protected and promoted in a meaningful way.
The petitioner submitted that firecrackers were known to pollute the quality of the air. He said that, "Since the winter season was setting in, the pollution created by the fireworks tends to hang in air, thereby jeopardising the lives of many and, especially, of the patients who are suffering from coronavirus."
Advocate General B S Prasad submitted that so far the the state government has not taken any policy decision for banning the use of firecrackers during the Diwali festival. He informed the court that, "The government merely hopes that people will continue to observe the safety precautions for COVID- 19."
The bench said the country and the state governments have been struggling with coronavirus pandemic. In fact, according to many, the second wave of COVID- 19 has already commenced. COVID- 19 adversely affects the respiratory system and moreover, the use of fireworks adversely affects the air quality.