New Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Thursday asked the licensing authority to respond on a plea challenging a September 10 notification inviting applications for the grant of Temporary Fireworks and Crackers Licence to permanent establishments.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Amit Bansal issued notice to the Delhi Police Commissioner on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Prachi Goel, a lawyer, but refused to pass any order of interim stay on the notification.

Delhi government counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi, appearing for the respondent authority, said the petition was misconceived.

The petitioner has alleged that the temporary licence for the ensuing Diwali festival is illegal and contrary to the provisions prescribed under The Explosives Act, 1884 and The Explosive Rules, 2008, which mandate that the Commissioner has the “authority and jurisdiction to grant of Temporary Fireworks licence qua a temporary shed which is made up of non-flammable material”.

“Temporary licence can't be issued to pucca shops. Permanent shops can only have permanent licences,” argued Sandeep Mittal, counsel for the petitioner.

In the plea has stated that if permanent shops are to be treated as a “shed made of non-flammable material” then all other associated conditions, such as having a distance of 50 metres from any protected work etc, should also be strictly followed.

“Rule 84 (2) of The Explosive Rules, 2008 clearly lays down inter alia that Proposed premises for possession and sale of fireworks shall be made up of Temporary shed and under the Explosives Act, 1884 and the Rules framed thereunder, there is no power with the Commissioner of Police to invite application and issue temporary Fireworks License qua any of the PUCCA shop but Temporary Fireworks License can only be issued qua a Temporary shed which is made up of non-flammable material, as provided under Rule 84 of the Explosive Rules, 2008,” says the plea filed through lawyer Shekhar Sharma.

It further states that the grant of the license in markets and at places with high density of population is not advisable in view of public safety.

“(The) discretionary and illegal practices adopted by the Respondent in the process of grant of Temporary Fireworks and Crackers License in Delhi is violative of the fundamental rights of life, liberty and safety as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” it says.

The matter would be heard next on October 1.