Mumbai, July 18: The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra government to clarify whether the minor can participate in ‘Dahi Handi’ which was termed as ‘adventurous sports’ by Supreme Court in 2015.
Hearing the petition seeking guidelines for the safe celebration of Dahi Handi in Maharashtra, the Bombay HC asked state government “if a five-year-old child could be allowed to climb a human pyramid as part of an adventurous sport”.
The HC notice came after it noted the rise of people getting injured while forming or climbing the human pyramid as a part of the festival for breaking Handi.
In 2014, the Bombay Court, as well as the Supreme Court, had declared human pyramids should not be higher than 20 feet. The apex court also said that minors should not be allowed to climb during Dahi Handi festival.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, the Maharashtra government in August 2015 termed ‘Dahi Handi’ an ‘adventurous sport’.
The Bombay High Court division bench of Justices R M Savant and Sadhna Jadhav while examining the relevant documents asked the government counsel: “What is an adventurous sport and what do u mean by that term? Can a 5-year-old child climb up a 20 feet high pyramid according to this rule?” The HC has asked the government if there is any clarification on this issue.
Justice Jadhav further asked if there are there any norms being allowed to float in the garb of this government regulation which did not seem to have any clarity.
Issuing notice to the Maharashtra government, the Bombay High Court adjourned the matter till August 4 by when the government would be explaining its stand on the issue. Dahi Handi festival will be organised this year on August 15.
A division bench of Justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav raised the query while hearing a petition seeking contempt action against BJP leader Ashish Shelar and others for floating conditions and restrictions laid down by the high court for the Dahi Handi festival in 2015.
Apart from Shelar, the petition also sought contempt action against former Mumbai BJP's youth wing president Ganesh Pandey and the then principal secretary of the department concerned in the state. The bench directed the government to respond to its queries and posted the matter for further hearing on August 4.