In the wake of the Puttingal Devi temple tragedy in Kerala which claimed as many as 111 lives, the Kerala High Court banned the use of high-decibel crackers and fireworks display after sunset in places of worship across the state.
The court pointed out that there is a Supreme Court order that directs that firework displays, which generate sounds beyond permissible levels, cannot be held at night.
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
According to media reports, the court also observed that the firework displays should have the requisite permissions and said steps should be taken to ensure that such tragedies do not occur in the future.
The court asked the state government to examine whether a CBI probe is necessary into the incident.
The police and the district administration have been asked to submit affidavits over the tragedy. When the state government sought 10-days time to submit the affidavit, the court said the case will be taken up on Thursday although it is a holiday on account of Vishu.
Meanwhile, Kerala Additional Director General of Police (Crime) S. Ananthakrishnan confirmed that competitive pyrotechnics had in fact taken place at the temple on Sunday.
He said the temple officials tricked the authorities into believing that what was to take place would be non-competitive firework display.
Firework contractor dies
The firework contractor of the temple, who was admitted to the medical college hospital in Thiruvananthapuram after he suffered 90 per cent injuries in the accident, died. With the death of 67-year-old Surendran, the death toll in the incident rose to 111.