SC bars youth below 18 from dahi-handi event

SC bars youth below 18 from dahi-handi event

SC bars youth below 18 from dahi-handi event

The Supreme Court on Wednesday barred youth below 18 from participating in ‘dahi-handi’ ritual and set 20 feet as maximum height of human pyramids.

A bench of Justices A R Dave and L Nageswara Rao refused to relax the Bombay High Court’s conditions on the event held during the Janmashtami festival in Maharashtra.

“We will continue with the Bombay HC order relating to banning participation of youth below 18 (years of age) and fixation of the maximum height (20 feet). We will hear other issues in detail later,” the bench said.

The court’s order came on the Maharashtra government’s plea for clarification of an earlier apex court decision by which it had stayed the operation of the high court verdict.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra, submitted that 'Govinda' (youth) symbolised Lord Krishna and there was a belief that kids between the age group of 12-15 years were more appropriate for the sport.

The court, however, declined his request, saying, “People get hurt. We have heard (of) lord Krishna stealing ‘makhan’ but we have not heard of the lord performing acrobatics.”

The ASG, on his part, responded: “As a matter of fact, risk factor is there in every sport.” A counsel, representing the PIL petitioner, opposed the plea, contending that the high court order had been violated and there were medical reports indicating that children suffered grievous injuries.

The apex court had on August 10 revived a plea challenging the Bombay High Court order. The high court had, on August 11, 2014, ordered that the height of human pyramids should not exceed 20 feet and that children below the age of 18 should not be allowed to participate.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox