File affidavit in Dahi Handi case: HC tells Ashish Shelar

The Bombay High Court has asked MLA and Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar from Bandra, who was present at a Dahi Handi function where a nine-layer human pyramid was formed against its order, to file an affidavit saying he would not breach the law in future.

Ashish Shelar
Ashish Shelar

The HC also asked the Maharashtra government to get a clarification from the Supreme Court on its order regarding the height of human pyramids for the Dahi Handi celebrations.

The HC issued a show cause notice to former BJP Yuva President Ganesh Pandey, for violating its orders and allowing the nine-layer human pyramid during the festival in 2014 in Bandra.

The HC asked the state to clarify the issue with the SC after a petitioner, Swati Patil, Secretary of Utkarsh Mahila Samajik Sanstha, demanded contempt notices be issued against Shelar, Pandey, the Director General of Police, BMC commissioner, Chief Secretary of state, and Charity Commissioner, as they had allowed the human pyramid to be formed in violation of the HC’s order of August 2014.

The show cause notice asks why contempt orders should not be issued against Pandey and is returnable with an explanation by July 29. The petitioner claimed that despite being the president of the Dahi Handi Committee, Shelar violated the law as he attended the function that was arranged by Pandey. She said the nine-layer pyramid exceeded the HC’s order of human pyramids not going upto more than 20 feet. The HC had asked Govindas should be 18-years-old, and helmets should be given to them.

Shelar’s lawyers claimed that he just attended the function as a guest. They also said Ganesh Pandey, the Yuva President, had been suspended from the party. Justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayed asked Shelar’s counsel then to give an affidavit.

The state government had challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court, which initially suspended the HC order and later dismissed the petition. According to the state government, the apex court did not express any opinion on the restriction imposed by the high court on the height of human pyramids. Hence, they were not bound by the earlier order of the HC. The HC, however, was of the opinion that its earlier order would be in force unless it had been set aside by a higher court. Therefore, it asked the state government to get clarification from the SC about the same.

— Inputs from agencies

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