NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to modify its order of capping at 20 feet the height of the human pyramid in the Dahi Handi festival observed during Janmasthmi, the birthday of Lord Krishna.
“No, we are not modifying it for the time being," a bench comprising justices A R Dave, U U Lalit and L Nageswara Rao said while declining the plea of a Mumbai-based organisation that the capping the height of human pyramid would take the fun out of the festival which has become a popular and competitive sport in the western metropolis.
Dahi Handi involves forming a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pot filled with curd which is suspended in the air. It is popular in Maharashtra and will be celebrated on Thursday across India.
On August 17, court refused to relax conditions put by the High Court like barring youths below 18 years of age from participating in the festival and capping the height of the human pyramid at 20 feet. During the hearing on Wednesday, the bench did not agree with the submission of the petitioner that there should be no cap on the height of the pyramid in view of the fact that the court has already barred youth below 18 years of age from taking part in the pyramid. The counsel for Jogeshwari-based 'Jai Jawan Krida Mandal Govinda Pathak' said the highest height of the human pyramid at 43.79 feet has found mention in the Guinness Book of World Records and capping it would be unfair.
“Has it brought any medal in the Olympics? I belong to the city (Mumbai). I would have been happy if it had brought any medal,” Justice Dave said, adding that this ritual sometimes caused serious injuries to participants, especially in their spinal chord.
The bench had suspended the operation of two directions passed by the High Court to regulate the festival. One of the directions suspended by the apex court is related to amending the existing law to bar children below 18 years of age from participating in dangerous performances.
The second direction of the High Court which was suspended is related to the part of the order which makes it mandatory for the organisers to apprise the authorities 15 days in advance of various aspects of the celebrations on the ground of the paucity of time.