HC adjourns state’s review petition on ‘Dahi-Handi’ order
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today adjourned by a week the hearing on a petition filed by Maharashtra government seeking a review of its earlier order of August 11 on banning participation of children below the age of 18 years in human pyramids during ‘Dahi-Handi’ festival in the state.
Government pleader S S Shinde said the state was not opposing the order but was seeking a review of the conditions imposed by the court since there was hardly any time left to implement them in view of the festival falling on August 18.
He also informed the bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode that the Supreme Court had suspended the August 11 order of the High Court today, while hearing the organisers of the ‘Dahi-Handi’ festival which is popular in Maharashtra.
The apex court has restricted the participation of children below the age of 12 years.
Shinde also said the state might consider withdrawing the review petition in the Bombay High Court since the Supreme Court is seized of the matter. A notice has also been issued to Maharashtra government by the apex court.
The High Court bench said it would like to go through the Supreme Court order and adjourned the state’s review petition to next week while asking the government pleader to produce the copy of the apex court’s order during the next hearing.
The same bench of the High Court had on August 11 banned participation of children below 18 years in Dahi-Handi festival and also restricted the height of human pyramids to 20 feet. In this regard, the state was asked to issue a circular within a day.
The court had issued various directions to ensure the safety of participants (Govindas) such as keeping ambulances ready to carry injured Govindas to hospitals in case of mishaps.
The bench also suggested that helmets and safety belts be provided to the participants and also cushion layers be placed at the venue of the festival.
The Judges further suggested that insurance policy should be drawn in favour of each Govinda and a copy thereof be given to the competent authority. They also ordered setting up of monitoring committee consisting of a police officer, ward officer of the civic body and an elected representative.