Suspending Bombay High Courts's order on Dahi Handi for this year the Supreme Court, on Thursday, allowed participation of children above 12 years of age in 'Dahi Handi' festival. The Supreme Court also asked the authorities to follow all guidelines and safety measures for festival as laid down by Maharashtra state commission for protection of child rights.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, challenging Bombay High court's order on Dahi Handi celebrations, which had banned the participation of minors in the event.
The apex court also said that state authorities should ensure that the festival be allowed subject to the condition that the organisers follow all guidelines containing safety measures, recommended by Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, are followed.
The Dahi Handi ceremony is held on Janmasthami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, every year. It involves forming a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pot filled with buttermilk which is tied at a height. It is popular in Maharashtra.
While passing the interim order, a bench comprising Chief Justice R M Lodha, justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman issued notice to the Maharashtra Government and concerned authorities, seeking their replies within eight weeks on a petition challenging the August 11 order of the Bombay High Court.
Expressing concern over the death of children every year during the Dahi-handi festival in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court, on Monday had said that there should be no participation of children less than 18 years of age in human pyramids (Dahi Handi) during Janmashtami festival.
A week, two children had lost their lives during Dahi Handi practice. A 14-year-old boy Kiran Talekari from Sanpada in Navi Mumbai died on Saturday after suffering injuries during one such practice session, while Hrishikesh Patil from Jogeshwari on the same day late in the night.
The High Court had also said, “If any accident happens during the Dahi Handi celebration, then the organisers will be held responsible and action will be taken against them.“