In what comes as a relief to the Thiruvambady Devaswom and the Paramekkavu Devaswom, which organises the famous Thrissur pooram in Kerala, the Supreme Court of India on Thursday has given permission to conduct the traditional fireworks display during the festival.
Both the Thivumbady and Paramekkavu devaswoms had filed a petition before the Supreme Court requesting to exempt the traditional display of fireworks during the Thrissur Pooram from its verdict in October last year.
The Supreme Court in a judgement in October last year said that only less polluting ‘green’ firecrackers can be sold in the market and that too only through licensed traders. The court had also imposed regulations on the timing of bursting crackers for various festivals like Diwali and other religious festivals. This also included the Thrissur Pooram.
According to R Basant, Senior Counsel who appeared for the two applicants, Thrissur Pooram is a festival that has been celebrated since 1798.
“It appears that displaying of fireworks has been an integral part of the celebrations of this festival. Hence, we see no reason why the festivity should be suspended,” observed the court.
A bench comprising of Justice SA Bobde, Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Justice Indira Banerjee noted that the temples get the fireworks manufactured through their own licensees. "They may do so subject to the written approval to be granted by the PESO (Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation) recording the new formulation that can be used in the firecrackers. However, they shall ensure that barium is not used in the fireworks," observed the bench.
The Court, however has requested both the petitioners that it must make sure that the fireworks manufactured for the festivity are used and retained by them and that it does not find their way into the market.
“The fireworks will be displayed according to the usual customs of the applicants temples,” noted the court.