In its petition, the Tamil Nadu government argues that people will be “deprived” of their rights of celebrating Deepavali by bursting crackers if the order is not modified.

Allow bursting of crackers between 430am to 630am on Deepavali TN govt moves SC Representational Image.
news Court Monday, October 29, 2018 - 14:09

The Tamil Nadu government moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking an order to permit the bursting of firecrackers from 4.30am to 6.30 am during the festival of Deepavali. This comes after the Supreme Court on October 23 ruled that people could burst firecrackers during Diwali between 8pm and 10pm.

In the petition filed before the apex court, the Tamil Nadu government argues that the people of the state will be “deprived” of their rights of celebrating the festival by bursting crackers if the order is not modified.

“It is respectfully submitted that unless this Hon’ble Court passes appropriate further orders in the nature of modification / direction of its Order dated 23.10.2018 passed in the present Writ Petition, to enable the people of Tamil Nadu burst fire crackers in the early morning of Diwali as well, the same would amount to rejecting the people with their due religious rights and would also subject the people of Tamil Nadu into much hardship. It is further submitted that permitting bursting of the firecrackers in the morning also is in the interest of both the environment and the people,” reads the petition.

The Tamil Nadu government argues that while in north India, Diwali is celebrated on the night of November 7 this year, in Tamil Nadu Deepavali is celebrated on the morning of November 6.  

Pointing to the different traditions and cultures, the petition says, “However, in the state of Tamil Nadu, Diwali, pronounced as ‘Deepavali’, is celebrated commemorating the death of Narakashura, the Evil, slain by the Goddess in the early hours of dawn. In Tamil Nadu, on the day of Diwali, people wake up early in the dawn at around 4.00 am, take Oil bath, wear new clothes, and start the celebration with bursting fire crackers in the early morning itself. The celebration goes all day. Diwali this year in Tamil Nadu, is on the early morning of 6th of November, 2018.”

The state government also argues that in Tamil Nadu Deepavali is celebrated on Amavasya day and the same depends on the presence of Chaturdashi Tithi.

“Chaturdashi Tithi assumes significance in Tamil Nadu only on Diwali's early morning. Chaturdashi will be ignored if it is not present on morning of Diwali. Precisely Diwali is fixed whenever Chaturdashi Tithi prevails in morning from 4 to 6 AM. If Chaturdashi is not present in morning, even though it is present in night, it will be ignored. This is contrary to other parts of the Nation wherein Diwali is fixed and celebrated based on Amavasya at Pradosh (evening),” it states.

The petition also notes that given that there a number of people from other states residing in Tamil Nadu, the top court permit the people of Tamil Nadu to burst fire crackers between 4.30 and 6.30am as well as the present time restriction of 8pm to 10pm.

On October 23, the Supreme Court took a decision to not order a blanket ban on fireworks, and also set a window period of 8pm to 10pm during which people across the country could burst firecrackers during Deepavali. In an effort to curb the effects of pollution, the apex court not only set this time limit, but also stated that only firecrackers of the ‘green’ or eco-friendly variety could be sold during this year’s festive season.

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