Temporary license for sale of crackers refused in the wake of concerns regarding people’s safety

Delhi High Court: Keeping in mind the hazardous effect of fire crackers on people and environment, Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, J., held that the Court will not interfere in the matter of refusal to grant temporary licence for sale of crackers to the petitioners by the Commissioner of Police, provided that they follow a rational criteria to select that to whom such licence should be granted.

In the present case, the petitioner challenged the Order of Commisioner of Delhi Police, which restrained them from carrying on the trade of selling crackers. Although, the grounds of refusal were rational and in the interest of public, as the electricity transformer was there in the vicinity of said place where the petitioner wanted to open his shop. Tarun Sharma on behalf of the petitioner, argued that despite having the requisite NOC (no objection certificate) from Delhi Fire Services, they have been denied licence on the grounds of fire safety. Whereas Peeyoosh Kalra, on behalf of the respondent , argued that the application of the petitioner has been rejected after assessing the situation at the site and sentiments of the residents.

Upon perusal of the contentions, the Court observed that none can claim the right to carry on business of sale of crackers, as it falls under the Explosive Acts, 1884 and according to this Act, the said busniess cannot be carried on without a licence. The Court also observed that restrain on sale of crackers does not affect any religious right entitled to Constituional protection and referred the case of Javed v. State of Haryana, (2003) 8 SCC 369 in this context. The Court further emphasised on the protection of environment from pollution caused due to bursting of firecrackers. [Manish Sharma v. Commissioner of Delhi Police, decided on 03.11.2015]

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