Kerala High Court bans use of high-decibel crackers in worship places

World Tuesday 12/April/2016 21:37 PM
By: Times News Service
Kerala High Court bans use of high-decibel crackers in worship places

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday 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 in southern Indian state of Kerala to examine whether a CBI probe is necessary into the Paravur Puttingal Devi temple fireworks display tragedy on Sunday.
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.
Thirteen persons, including members of the managing commitee of the Puttingal Devi Temple, were on Tuesday arrested in connection with the fireworks mishap, police said.
The arrested included seven members of the managing committee and six workers of the two contractors, who carried out the fireworks display on the final day of the seven-day long festival early Sunday in Kerala. The arrests were made by the police after day-long questioning, sources said.
In a dramatic move, the temple trust's President Jayalal, Secretary J. Krishnankutty and members Shivaprasad, Surendran Pillai, Ravindran Pillai had surrendered before the Crime Branch police in the wee hours on Tuesday. Two other managing committee members Srendranathan Pillai and Murugesan were picked by police here on Tuesday morning.
Other six workers of the two contractors who carried out the fireworks display were also picked by police after the accident.
A Crime Branch probe into the fire tragedy is currently underway.
The ghastly mishap at the 100-year-old temple at nearby Parvavoor occurred when sparks from fireworks fell on a storehouse stocked with crackers, triggering powerful explosions.