The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the state government to inform on what grounds it had classified Dahi Handi as an adventure sport and permitted minors to take part in the festival. A division bench of Justice R M Savant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing a petition seeking contempt action against BJP leader Ashish Shelar and others for flouting restrictions in 2016, which had been laid down by the high court for the Dahi Handi festival in 2014.
The Supreme Court had in 2016 upheld the Bombay High Court order imposing height restrictions of 20 feet on human pyramids formed during the Dahi Handi festivities in Mumbai and banning youngsters below 18 years from participating in the formation of human pyramids. The judges referred to the August 11, 2015, government resolution that termed Dahi Handi an adventure sport and asked if the state had issued any other GR.
“Is Dahi Handi an adventure sport? Are our orders being flouted under the garb of it being an adventure sport? How can minors take part in such adventure sports?” questioned Justice Jadhav. The bench directed the state government to respond to its queries and posted the matter for further hearing on August 4 taking note of the fact that the matter is likely to come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on August 11.
This year, Dahi Handi festivities would be organised on August 15.