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Contempt petition seeks action against authorities for dahi handi violations in Mumbai

The petition claims that children below 14 years of age were allowed to participate in the human pyramids this year in violation of the HC’s order

mumbai Updated: Sep 07, 2018 01:17 IST
KAY Dodhiya
KAY Dodhiya
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Bombay high court,dahi handi
The HC’s 2017 order had confirmed a list of guidelines, which included age restrictions on participants.(HT FILE)

The petitioner in the 2014 public interest litigation (PIL) seeking framing of guidelines to make dahi handi celebrations safe has filed a contempt petition in the Bombay high court against the authorities for not complying with the 2017 orders of the high court. The 2017 order had confirmed a list of guidelines, which included age restrictions on participants.

The petition has claimed that children below 14 years of age were allowed to participate in the human pyramids this year in violation of the order and hence sought contempt proceedings to be initiated against the authorities. The petition is expected to come up for hearing soon. Another non-governmental organisation (NGO) is also in the process of filing a contempt petition on other guidelines that were also violated.

According to the contempt petition filed by Swati Patil, the dahi handi celebrations during the Gokulashtami festival that was observed on September 3 had violated the orders by the bench of justices BR Gavai and MS Karnik in the PIL filed by her. The petition has said that, even though the state had given an undertaking to ensure that the participation of children below the age of 14 years would be restricted, children of lower ages were seen not only participating in the human pyramids but were also felicitated for their act of breaking the handi by climbing to the top of the pyramid by organisers. The petition said such scenes were seen at many dahi handi sites.

The petition further alleged that even as the court orders were being violated, police and authorities stood as mute spectators and did not enforce the order, thus putting the lives of the children at risk. The contempt petition has referred to media reports as well, attaching pictorial evidences of the allegations.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 01:17 IST