Following the Supreme Court’s order, the Tamil Nadu government had fixed 6am to 7am and 7pm to 8pm for bursting of crackers during Deepavali.

On Deepavali 7 arrested 200 booked in TN for bursting crackers outside fixed timeImage for Representation/PTI
news Law Tuesday, November 06, 2018 - 18:48

Deepavali saw the Tamil Nadu police cracking down on those who violated Supreme Court orders by bursting firecrackers outside the stipulated time. Over 200 people have been booked by the police as of 6pm on Tuesday for bursting fireworks outside the time fixed by the state government for Deepavali. The Tamil Nadu government had fixed 6am to 7am and 7pm to 8pm for the bursting of crackers during Deepavali.

In Villupuram district 80 people were booked for bursting crackers – the highest in the state so far. Virudhunagar police have booked 40 persons for violating the SC order. 30 persons were booked in Coimbatore and 20 in Dindigul whereas Namakkal, Erode and Nagercoil districts saw one case each being registered for not complying with the order.

The police have booked those who violated the SC order under Sections 291(Continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue), and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 268 (public nuisance) of the IPC. Although in some districts, only the FIRs have been registered, Namakkal police arrested one person and Tirunelveli arrested 6 persons for violating orders. They were arrested and soon let out on bail.

Speaking to TNM on the FIRs registered, a senior police officer said they were expecting more cases to be filed at the end of the day. He also added that the final number of cases would be available post-midnight on Wednesday.

On November 2, the Tamil Nadu government had announced that fireworks can be burst between 6 and 7 am and between 7 and 8 pm for Deepavali. This announcement came after the Supreme Court passed an order on October 23 restricting the bursting of fireworks to a two-hour window between 8pm and 10 pm for Deepavali across the country. However, the Tamil Nadu government moved the top court urging it to modify its order keeping in mind the customs and traditions of the people of Tamil Nadu, who burst crackers in the morning of Deepavali. On October 30, the apex court modified its earlier order directing state governments to fix a time slot for bursting of crackers.

The Joint Director of TN Fire and Rescue Services department, Shahul Hameed had earlier told TNM that there will be no exception while implementing SC order based on the noise of the fireworks. “The SC order states ‘fireworks’ and has not specified as to the category of fireworks based on noise like flowerpots or sparklers. Hence, we are not giving any exception to these crackers,” he had said.

Speaking to TNM, advocate Sudha Ramalingam said that since there is a clear ruling from the apex court, the cases registered by the police are bound to stand in the court of law. “There is an order and the police are to implement the order. Hence the cases booked for violating the law will stand in court, if the police is able to prove that the offence was committed,” she said.

Justice K Chandru, a retired judge of the Madras High Court said that the cases against violators will stand if the offences are proven by the police. "But chances are high that the judge may ultimately warn the accused and close the case when these cases reach the court," he added.

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