Youths Below 18 Barred from Dahi-Handi Ritual

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

The Supreme Court refused to relax the conditions imposed by the Bombay High Court barring youths below 18 years of age from participating in ‘Dahi-handi’ ritual of the Janmashtami festival in Maharshtra and capping the height of the human pyramid at 20 feet.

The order came on a plea of Maharashtra government seeking clarification of an earlier apex court decision by which it had stayed the operation of the High Court verdict fixing the height of the human pyramid and banning participation of those below 18 years in the ritual.

The bench, which decided to hear the revived petition against the order of the High Court in October this year, 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.

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.

The bench was unimpressed with the plea of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra, that ‘Govinda’ symbolises Lord Krishna and there is a belief that kids between the age group of 12-15 years are considered more appropriate for enacting ‘Govindas’.

Current Affairs for IAS Exam