Special Correspondent

Grant of temporary licence for sale and storage of fireworks and crackers

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Chennai Police Commissioner to strictly follow the rules and regulations under the Explosives Act while granting temporary licence for the sale and storage of fireworks and crackers.

He should also ensure all other safety measures suggested by the court in its orders issued in October last year.

Disposing of a public interest litigation petition filed by K.R. Ramaswamy alias ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy, the First Bench of Chief Justice A.K. Ganguly and Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla said the court was making the Commissioner responsible for ensuring that all safety measures were scrupulously followed.

Mr. Ramaswamy had filed the petition to ensure safety in the sale and storage of fireworks and crackers during the Deepavali season.

The Bench said there was substance in the petitioner’s contention and apprehension. The court could take judicial notice of the fact that owing to the callous discharge of duty by public authorities in recent times, innocent people had lost their lives. During the Deepavali season, cracker shops would be crowded and safety regulations were of utmost importance.

The court made it very clear that before granting temporary licence, the Commissioner should ensure that clearance had been obtained from the fire service authorities and no-objection certificate granted.

The petitioner said there would be nearly 16 shops on Bunder Street, Badrian Street, Malayaperumal Street, Anderson Street and Umpherson Street.

He apprehended that there would be no proper exit points, and the requisite distance between shops would not be maintained. In the event of an accident, a large number of people would be affected.