NEW DELHI, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- India's Supreme Court Friday refused to lift the ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and nearby cities in the run-up to the Hindu festival of Diwali.
The top court had recently imposed the ban on fireworks until Nov. 1, saying it wanted to test if it would make a difference to Delhi's air quality, ranked among the worst in the world.
"We are not going to relax the order on the sale of crackers. This is an experiment. After Diwali we will take stock of the situation," the court said.
The court's refusal to relax the ban came in the wake of an appeal by traders seeking more time to sell the unsold firecracker stocks for which they had already spent millions.
However, those who had already bought firecrackers can still burst them during the Hindu festival of lights celebrated mostly across northern India.
The judges also expressed sadness to the fact that a communal twist had been given to its order banning the sale of fireworks in Delhi and adjoining cities.
"We are pained to hear that some people are trying to give a communal color to our order. It is sad," the court said.
Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil. People burst firecrackers to celebrate the festival.