A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode of the Bombay High Court on Monday banned for participating to children below 18 years during the ‘Dahi Handi’ festival in Maharashtra. The court also directed to the government to amend certain sections of the Bombay Police Act and the Maharashtra Police Act which define “dangerous activities” to include higher human pyramids which would then invite penal action.
The court was hearing on various Public Interest Litigations (PILs) including the secretary of Chembur based NGO Utkarsh Mahila Samajik Sanstha and social worker Swati Patil against the higher human pyramid and participating the minors, citing fatal accident.
The court also asked the Maharashtra government to issue a circular by immediate with regard to the age bar and restriction on height of human pyramids. The court also directed to the state to restrict the height of human pyramids to 20 ft.
Court directed to mandals/organisers to ensure safety of the Govindas, to give due importance to the health and safety of the participants. The organisers have to give an undertaking that they will make available immediate medical help, including ambulances, first aid and other infrastructure necessary to treat injured Govindas and move them to nearby hospital. Organisers shall provide helmets and safety belts to Govindas and cushion layers at the venue of performance.
The mandals should have to provide names, addresses, photographs and age proof of all Govindas. A monitoring committees shall be formed comprising in-charge of the local police station, a ward officer of the civic body and local elected representative or such other person.
PIL against power theft during Ganeshotsav, Navaratri and Diwali festivals
FORMER Journalist and RTI activist Ketan Tirodkar has filed a PIL in Bombay High Court alleging that power is stolen brazenly during the Ganesh festival, Diwali and Navratri resulting in loss of revenue. Resulting, court on Monday asked power distribution companies, Mumbai Police and BMC to submit suggestions in court as to how the power thefts can be prevented.
Tirodkar demands that special cells be set up to crack down on power thefts during these festivals.
The division bench headed by Justice P V Hardas also asked petitioner Ketan Tirodkar to himself should meet and come up with suggestions, so that it can pass an order on August 13.
According petitioner, the `mandals/ organisers collect huge donations. The mandals are still given huge concessions in power bills. Besides, many mandal simply rig up supply from power poles on the streets, without paying anything.