Maharashtra Dahi Handi: Supreme Court says no minors, pyramid can’t go beyond 20 feet


Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that youth below 18 years of age cannot participate in the Dahi-Handi ritual, part of the Janmashtami festival, in Maharashtra and the height of the human pyramid for it cannot exceed 20 feet, a limit fixed by the Bombay High Court.

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Dahi Handi fest involves a pyramid made by humans where an earthen pot filled with curd is broken at a convenient height. Maharashtra Government had moved the Supreme Court seeking a clarification regarding the height and age of Dahi handi participants.

After a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by a city-based NGO secretary Swati Patil on participation of children below 18 years of age and below the height of 20 feet, the Bombay High Court had issued a directive in 2014 asking the state government to approach the Supreme Court. 

According to Swati, the government was not following the Bombay High Court’s previous orders on eligible height of participants in the human pyramids made during the Dahi Handi fest.

Earlier, two teenagers who were made ‘govindas’ during the festival and were asked to climb the pyramid top in an attempt to  break the handi, had died after falling down while practising the event.

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