Dahi handi: No height cap, no kids below 14

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The state government assured the central government that under Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, the age limit for ensuring participation of Govindas during such adventure sports was 14 years and the same would be adhered to during Dahi Handi.

"If we enter into that arena, we would be encroaching on the domain of the legislature", said a bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Makarand Karnik.

Mumbai: In a relief to the Govinda Pathaks, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to regulate the height restrictions on human pyramids made for celebrations of Dahi Handi.

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Activist and petitioner Swati Patil said, "The Supreme Court should have given the order when the matter was with it". With almost 1,000 mandals and Govinda brigades, Mumbai is one of the biggest centres for "Dahi Handi" celebrations on Janmashtami that marks Lord Krishna's birth. The court also accepted the government's undertaking that no children, below the age of 14 years, will be allowed to take part in the festival. The HC also said the state affidavit regarding safety measures to be adopted by organisers covers most concerns in regards to accidents of "Govindas". The court observed that it is for the state government to bring laws in that respect. When one of the petitioners claimed 10 feet was the ideal height because it would be safe and it was also the height of the "pyramid that Lord Krishna built at his home", justice Gavai said "it wasn't even clear if Lord Krishna existed in the first place". "The government has appointed additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta as the lawyer for the state and gave an assurance to the court that all safety measures will be followed strictly", added Mr Shelar. Another bench had capped the height at 20 feet.

Last week, a division bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and R Banumathi referred the plea of Maharashtra government seeking relaxation in 2014 order to High Court and asked it to grant the hearing on August 7, as per the report.

The Krishna Janmashtami-Dahi Handi celebrations in Mumbai is all set to be bigger this year with the Bombay High Court on Monday declining to take a call on the height of the human pyramids.

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