The Karnataka High Court has upheld the decision of the police department to withdraw the certificate of no objection issued for the sale of firecrackers within the city limits of Bengaluru.
Perhaps for the first time, photographs of people injured by firecrackers are used in the judgment documents. These show images of young people and children who have lost their sight due to firecracker injuries.
The HC said “it would send shivers down the spine of the creators of the Constitution. There can be no greater violation of the right to life, physical integrity and liberty,” the HC said on the page where the photographs are inserted.
The single judge bench of Krishna S Dixit rejected the claim of several traders who had challenged the decision of the police department.
The Commissioner of Police in Bengaluru had withdrawn the NOC from these traders in 2012. The Commissioner General of Police of Karnataka had upheld the commissioner’s order in 2013. The traders had challenged it before the HC which issued its judgment on 29 July 2022.
Rejecting the petitions, the HC said: “Unquestionably, the adverse effects of firecrackers cause irreversible damage to the environment. Besides infants, pregnant women, and patients (especially those with heart disease and high blood pressure), even animals and birds also feel the violence. because of the crackers bursting.”
The rule will now apply to all traders and not just claimants before the HC.
“If the petitioners are to move their ‘apple carts’ to safer areas, leaving the lanes in question, other businessmen in similar circumstances cannot be allowed to cling to the same area. What applies to the goose applies to the gander, as state counsel rightly argues,” the judgment reads.
The court stated that the sale of firecrackers falls under the category of goods such as poison, alcohol, tobacco and explosives and therefore its trade cannot be covered by the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution.
“It is hardly necessary to specify that explosive substances being ‘res extra commercium’ such as alcohol, poison, etc., no citizen can claim an unlimited fundamental right under Article 19, paragraph 1, point g) of the Constitution,” said the HC. said.
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