Dahi Handi: HC seeks govt, Shelar's response on petition

The Bombay High Court today sought response of the Maharashtra government and BJP leader Ashish Shelar on a contempt petition filed against him for failing to comply with its earlier directions on precautions to be taken during the Dahi Handi festival.

A division bench of justices V M Kanade and Revati Mohite Dere was hearing a petition filed by Swati Patil seeking contempt action to be initiated against Principal Secretary of Home department Swadheen Kshatriya and Ashish Shelar, head of the Dahi Handi Samiti set up by the government in February last year.

The samiti was set up by the government following directions from the high court on precautions and restrictions during the Dahi Handi festival.

The high court, among other directions, had asked the government to ensure that Dahi Handi (formation) is restricted to only four layers and the height is reduced.

In her petition, Patil claimed that the high court directions were flouted by several pandals across the state and the samiti and its members failed in complying with the court orders.

The bench, while seeking response of the government and Shelar, said, "Adults can take part in any sport as they have the right to do so. But children are involved here and hence we have to keep their interest in mind."

"Our orders should be taken in the right spirit. Our intentions are not to be a spoil sport. Organisers should be responsible," the court said while adjourning the petition for four weeks.

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