Kerala HC bans use of high-decibel crackers in worship places

Kochi: The Kerala High Court today banned the use of high-decibel crackers and fireworks display after sunset in places of worship across the state in the wake of the temple tragedy in Kollam that has claimed 110 lives.

The court asked the state government to examine whether a CBI probe is necessary into the Paravur Puttingal Devi temple fireworks display tragedy on Sunday.

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Treating a judge's letter seeking a ban as a PIL, the bench of Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Anu Sivaraman banned the use of sound-generating fireworks between sunset and sunrise across places of worship.

It, however, said that during day time, the sound of explosives cannot exceed the permitted limit.

The judges said colours and light performance without making sound may be permitted in festivals at night. The court directed police and other authorities to enforce compliance of the provisions of Explosives Act and Rules to prevent such tragedies.

It expressed anguish over police incorporating lighter provisions of law with regard to offences against the accused in the Kollam accident and asked why the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was not applied against them.

As a word of caution, the High Court asked whether there was involvement of anti nationals in the Sunday tragedy as the area is surrounded by high seas.

The hearing was on the letter written by Justice V Chitambaresh, a judge of the same court, who had demanded an immediate on fireworks display across places of worship in the state.

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