Children below 18 years of age can’t participate in Dahi Handi, says SC

  • Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2016 15:14 IST
The apex court also said the height of human pyramid cannot exceed 20 feet ceiling fixed by the Bombay high court. (HT file)

The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that children below 18 years of age cannot participate in the upcoming Dahi Handi festival in Maharashtra.

The top court stated it was dangerous to allow small children to participate in such feats in its response to a clarification sought by the Maharashtra government over the August 2014 verdict that also limited the height of such pyramids to 20 feet.

“We know of Lord Krishna stealing butter, but never heard of him performing antics to steal it,” said the SC.

The Supreme Court had initially suspended the order when the government challenged the ruling, but later dismissed the petition, leaving the status of the order unclear.

Read | Dahi Handi fest: Seek SC view on height of human pyramids: HC to govt

Based on a public interest litigation (PIL), the Bombay high court had on August 11, 2014, ruled that children below 18 years of age should not participate in forming the human pyramid. The Dahi Handi festival is a popular during Janmashtami celebrations in Maharashtra, and pyramids often go as high up as 30 feet to reach a suspended pot of yogurt.

Read: Maharashtra declares dahi-handi an ‘adventure sport’

After another plea claimed that human pyramid formations were not adhering to the ruling, the Bombay high court pulled up the Maharashtra government for not seeking a clarification from the apex court.

The issue had cropped up on a contempt petition filed by a city-based social worker Swati Patil, the secretary of an NGO named Utkarsh Mahila Samajik Sansthaa.

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