The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a fresh plea seeking to relax the cap of 20-feet height of the human pyramid fixed by it for the ‘dahi handi’ ritual during Janmashtami festival in Maharashtra. A bench comprising justices A R Dave, U U Lalit and L Nageswara Rao said that it will hear on Wednesday itself a plea on the issue as the festival is to be celebrated on Thursday across the country.
The fresh plea has been filed by Mumbai based Jai Jawan Krida Mandal Govinda Pathak. The organisation says that now that the youth below 18 years of age have been barred from participating in the ‘dahi handi’ ritual, the cap on the height of the human pyramid should be relaxed as adventure is part of every sport. If there is no adventure in a game, then there is no point in celebrating it, the Krida Mandal says.
The Supreme Court had earlier refused to relax conditions put by the Bombay High Court like barring youths below 18 years of age from participating in ‘dahi handi’ ritual of the Janmashtami festival in Maharashtra and capping the height of the human pyramid at 20 feet. The bench had, however, suspended the operation of two directions passed by the High Court to regulate the ‘dahi handi’ festival.
One of the directions, suspended by the apex court, relates to amending the existing law to bar children below 18 years of age from participating in dangerous performances like being part of the human pyramid of ‘dahi handi’ festival. The second direction of the High Court, which was also suspended, relates to the part of the order which makes it mandatory for the organisers to apprise the authorities 15 days in advance about various aspects such as place of celebration, its timing and personal information, including the birth certificates, of participating ‘Govindas’ on the ground of paucity of sufficient time.