SC to clarify whether youth below 18-yr can participate in ‘Dahi-Handi’ Festival


NEW DELHI: Today on an appeal of the Maharashtra administration, the Supreme Court is expected to pass an order looking for amplification as to whether a youth below 18-years can take part in a 'Dahi-Handi' ritual and human pyramid formation could be above 20 feet. Today a bench of Justices A R Dave and L Nageswara Rao has also further conveyed that it will make clear on the matter as the counsel for the supplicant previous to the Bombay High Court was not present in the court.

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Supplementary Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, emerging for the Maharashtra administration, conveyed that it is an urgent issue as an appeal seeking beginning of contempt proceedings has been filed previous to the high court which has commanded the state administration to seek clarification from the apex court on the issue. He has also further conveyed that, Janmashtami festival is forthcoming and 'Dahi-Handi' is one of the most popular parts of it. Today the court conveyed that since the counsel for the supplicant previous to the high court is not present in the court, it cannot pass any order on the issue.

 Previous week, the Maharashtra administration had reached the apex court seeking explanation on its 2014 order by which it had stayed the high court decision banning participation of those under 18-years in a popular 'Dahi-Handi' ritual. The high court had on August 11, 2014 ordered the state administration to issue a circular restricting 'govinda' below the age of 18 from participating in the arrangement of human pyramid through the festival, as well limiting the height of the pyramids to 20 feet. The apex court, which had stayed the high court order, though, did not set aside the decision. The state administration has also further conveyed that an explanation was desirable as to whether the stay on the high court verdict is still in operation in view of the fact that the judgement has not been quashed.

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