Delhi high court refuses to ban kite flying, says it’s ‘cultural and religious’
Disposing of a plea seeking a complete ban on flying, sale, purchase, storage, and transportation of kites, a bench of chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma and justice Subramonium noted that the NGT has already imposed a complete ban on Chinese synthetic “manjha”.
Terming kite flying “a cultural and religious activity”, the Delhi high court on Friday refused to ban the activity in the national capital and instead directed the Delhi government and the police to ensure strict compliance with the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order banning sale of Chinese synthetic “manjha” (strings coated with powdered glass) used for kite flying.
Disposing of a plea by lawyer Sanser Pal Singh seeking a complete ban on flying, sale, purchase, storage, and transportation of kites as many people and birds have been killed or injured due to accidents caused by glass coated strings, a bench of chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma and justice Subramonium noted that the NGT has already imposed a complete ban on Chinese synthetic “manjha”. It also asserted that even the city police have been issuing notifications and also taking action against violators.
The petitioner had told the court that he had met with an accident in 2006 when a kite string got entangled around his body and in an attempt to save his neck, he got his finger severed. According to the data collected by the petitioner, several persons and birds have lost their lives or got maimed by the glass coated kite strings.
On Thursday, the court asked the Delhi Police counsel to take instructions on the steps taken to implement the NGT’s order banning sale of Chinese synthetic ”manjha”.
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In response, Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Sanjay Lao, who appeared for the police, informed the court said there is already a notification by the Delhi government that Chinese ‘manjha’ is banned in the national capital.
He said since the year 2017, a total of 255 persons have been booked under different sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Environment (Protection) Act for the violation, adding that the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) is going to issue a fresh order reiterating that the use of Chinese ‘manjha’ is banned in Delhi.
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Additional solicitor general Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Union government, submitted that the prayer for banning kite flying cannot be allowed as cultural and religious values are attached to the activity and it is only the use of Chinese ”manjha” that needs to be banned.
“This is a festival in India. It is also connected to religion. You need to be careful while making (such) a prayer,” Sharma said.
The court agreed with the contentions of the ASG and directed the Delhi government and the police to ensure strict compliance with the NGT order banning use and sale of Chinese ‘manjha’.