Maharashtra: SC bans minors' participation in Dahi Handi festival, height of pyramid capped at 20 ft

SC agreed with the High Court directions with regard to the minimum age of participants in Dahi Handi and the maximum height of the pyramid.

PTI August 17, 2016 15:01:54 IST
Maharashtra: SC bans minors' participation in Dahi Handi festival, height of pyramid capped at 20 ft

New Delhi: The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that youth below 18 years of age cannot participate in the Dahi Handi ritual, part of the Janmashtami festival, in Maharashtra and the height of the human pyramid for it cannot exceed 20 feet, a limit fixed by the Bombay High Court.

A bench comprising justices AR Dave and L Nageswara Rao, which decided to hear the revived petition in October this year, however suspended the operation of two other directions passed by the High Court to regulate the Dahi Handi festival.

Maharashtra SC bans minors participation in Dahi Handi festival height of pyramid capped at 20 ft

Representational image. AFP

The High Court directions, which have been suspended by the apex court, relate to amending the existing law to bar children below 18 years of age from participating in dangerous performances.

It also suspended the direction pertaining to 15 days prior approval from the authorities concerned to check the date of birth certificates of 'Govindas' to ensure that no underage children take part in it.

During the hearing, the bench agreed with the High Court directions with regard to the minimum age of participants and the maximum height of the pyramid.

The Supreme Court had, on 10 August, revived a plea challenging a Bombay HC order restricting the height of human pyramids to 20 feet for 'Dahi-Handi' ritual, saying it needs to hear the PIL petitioner before passing any order.

The court had sought reply of Swati Sayaji Patil, a social worker, who had filed a petition for initiation of contempt proceedings against Maharashtra government in high court for failure to comply with the HC order.

The Maharashtra government had earlier approached the apex court seeking clarification on its 2014 order by which it had stayed the high court decision banning participation of those below 18-years in a popular 'Dahi-Handi' ritual.

The high court had on 11 August, 2014, while hearing a petition filed by Patil, ordered that the height of human pyramids should not exceed 20 feet and that children below the age of 18 years should not be allowed to participate.

The state government had then challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court which had initially suspended the HC order and later dismissed the petition challenging it.

The Maharashtra government had taken a stand that since the apex court had not expressed any opinion on restriction imposed by the HC on the height of human pyramids, it was not bound by its earlier order.

The high court, however, had asked the state government to seek clarification from the Supreme Court on the aspect that its earlier order would be in force unless it had been set aside by the apex court.

Updated Date:

also read

28 Tihar prison officials suspended for being complicit with Unitech’s jailed ex-promoters
India

28 Tihar prison officials suspended for being complicit with Unitech’s jailed ex-promoters

The Delhi Police Crime Branch had on Tuesday registered an FIR after 32 officials of Tihar Jail were found to be complicit with the imprisoned duo - Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra

Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi adds green power in fight for survival, but road for cracker industry remains bumpy
India

Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi adds green power in fight for survival, but road for cracker industry remains bumpy

India’s firecracker hub faces a slow but painful death due to the blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers in several states for the past couple of years

Delay in recording eyewitness statement can't result in rejection of their testimonies, says Supreme Court
India

Delay in recording eyewitness statement can't result in rejection of their testimonies, says Supreme Court

Dismissing an appeal challenging convictions in a murder case, the bench said the material on record establishes the fear created by the accused persons, and adequately explains the delay