The Kerala High Court on Tuesday ordered strict enforcement of the provisions in the Explosive Rules, banning the use of high-decibel crackers and display of fireworks between the hours of sunset and sunrise, at places of worship in the State.
A Division Bench of Justices Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Anu Sivaraman issued the directive when a suo motu case, initiated on the basis of a letter from Justice Chitambaresh seeking to ban high-decibel fireworks came up for hearing. The letter was written after the Puttingal Devi temple fireworks accident, which has claimed more than 100 lives.
At a special sitting, the Bench directed officers of the Central and State governments to ensure that explosives were used only in accordance with the Explosive Rules 2008 in the State. If there was any lack of supervisory control by the official concerned, it should be considered a dereliction of duty, the Bench said. The court came down heavily on the police for not preventing the fireworks display at Paravur though the temple committee had failed to produce the required licence.
Why no murder charges against contractor: HC
The Court took the police to task for not slapping murder charges under section 302 and conspiracy (120B) of IPC in the FIR filed against the contractor responsible for organising the fireworks display at the Puttingal Devi temple in Kollam district without official permission.
The police have only included section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the FIR.
The court observed that it was the duty of the police under the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code to protect the life of the citizen and take steps to prevent a crime. The court also said the government could consider pleas for a CBI probe into the tragedy.