Denied licence to sell crackers, Delhi shopkeepers move HC

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New Delhi, Oct 6: With Diwali just a month away, four vendors have moved the Delhi High Court seeking directions to civic agencies, fire services and Delhi Police, to grant them licence for selling firecrackers.

In a petition, the four central Delhi shopkeepers have sought directions to the government departments to grant them temporary 'tehbazari' licence to sell crackers from makeshift tin sheds on the footpath alongside Kamla Nehru Park.

"The municipal corporations were playing the game of pick and choose as the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) had granted licence to sell crackers even in congested areas while the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) had refused to grant any even as they fulfill all guidelines," the petition filed through advocate Anuj Arora said.

Nagender Kumar, Manoj Madaan, Ramesh Rajpal and Prem moved the high court after NDMC refused to give them tehbazari licence citing a communication from Delhi Police.

The petitioners said they used to earn their livelihood by selling crackers ahead of Diwali from makeshift tin sheds on the footpath alongside Kamla Nehru Park, opposite Subzi Mandi police station. They said after the licence was made mandatory, they are being denied licence even though they fulfill all safety guidelines.

The petition in likely to come up for hearing tomorrow. Kumar said they had earlier approached the high court in 2010. The court had then directed MCD to consider their request, following which they were given no-objection certificate from MCD and also the fire department to sell crackers from the makeshift shop.

However, Delhi Police had denied permission even when they had fulfilled all the safety guidelines issued by it.

In 2012, Kumar again approached the high court seeking similar relief and was asked to approach MCD for grant of tehbazari licence. The high court had then directed Delhi Police to consider the request without compromising the security of the citizens.

The petition said "despite the High Court order, NDMC refused to grant licence, saying there is no such policy for giving away tehbazari licence in view of a communication received by the Delhi Police".

Diwali is just a month away.

The petitioner contended that Delhi Police had itself told the court in 2010 that it did not intend to put complete ban on grant of temporary tehbazaris by MCD and that it did not have any objection to grant of temporary tehbazaries for sale of crackers.

"The purpose of issuing the letters by the Commissioner of Delhi Police was only to remind the corporations about the guidelines and not to put complete ban on issue of temporary licences, therefore not granting permission to petitioners is arbitrary on part of municipal corporations," the petition said.


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